Microsoft Against Free Software... But In Favor Of Paying Nations To Use Its Software?

from the something-doesn't-seem-right dept

With more and more countries aggressively moving to embrace free and open source software, it appears that Microsoft is using its own money to its advantage, such as with this agreement to hand over $60 million to South Korea to get it to use its software, rather than the alternatives. While it may seem silly when you take a step back and look at the situation, it does show some of the mixed up incentives related to software. Individuals and organizations can simply embrace free software, or Microsoft can pay out $60 million towards various projects now, knowing that it will pressure the South Korean gov't and firms into spending a lot more than that on its software. At some point, people will begin to realize this is just a bad deal. The programs Microsoft invests in make out well, as do some government officials, but everyone else ends up worse off.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 5:38pm

    they still missed...

    I wonder how long till Microsoft realizes that people actually still use free alternatives ON their platform as well. OpenOffice, VLC Media Player, Pidgin, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. are all widely used and excellent alternatives to any for-pay "solutions" that M$ might have.

    I personally have been using Linux as my primary operating system on my laptop for about 4 months now(been over 4 years on ALL of my servers) and haven't really missed anything made by Microsoft. I might boot into XP once a week at most.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Simon, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 5:55pm

    Re: they still missed...

    It always make me laugh that Media Player is 'protected' by Windows Genuine Advantage. When ever I double click on a file and Media Player brings up the splash screen telling I need to validate my copy before I can use it, it's just a reminder that I need to assign that file type to VLC.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: they still missed...

    WGA is spyware, and should never be installed.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Ian Rae, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    bribery?

    Doesn't this basically amount to bribing them to use Microsoft software dumped at no charge? This doesn't seem possible.

     

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  5.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 6:51pm

    Cheaper than free

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 6:54pm

    I've heard of region codes, but this is just silly.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 7:08pm

    The end result is that...

    "I'm a PC and I subsidize South Korean licensing costs."

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Nick, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    Re: The end result is that...

    "I'm a PC and you need to take out your checkbook and purchase my Professional Services to install that free software."

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 8:35pm

    I'm a PC

    PC is now synonymous with Windows ... excuse me, I'm going to puke.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 9:02pm

    Hey!

    I'll be happy to take a copy of MS MapPoint! I can put it to very good use!

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Alex, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 9:04pm

    Re: bribery?

    Bribe before you buy :)

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 9:06pm

    Re: they still missed...

    Who pays for IE, WMP, Outlook ect? They come for free.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Bernard Swiss, Nov 3rd, 2008 @ 10:11pm

    Re: they still missed...

    "Who pays for IE, WMP, Outlook ect? They come for free."

    They (IE, WMP, Outlook, etc) no more come for free than do the wheels on your car.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Suely, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: they still missed...

    They (IE, WMP, Outlook, etc) no more come for free than do the wheels on your car.

    They seem to come for free with Linux. Plus OSX comes with some real worthwhile applications that are, well, you know, worthwhile.

    Oh well.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    What about the EU

    Microsoft better save some of that money . . . the EU wants a big cut!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Dave, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 6:22am

    Why bother?

    In S. Korea, Windows penetration is almost absolute as the encryption protocol for Internet banking there (required by law) is Windows-only. No Linux or Mac version exists so you must use IE under windows (not even wine works).

    Why would they need to pay them $60M unless they'd started porting the encryption protocol?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Unfortunately wast majority of average Joes (or plumber Joe :) ) still use Microsoft and are unaware of free alternatives. Microsoft has a succesfull business model and will not start loosing money any time soon.

     

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  18.  
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    TDR, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    You know your software's bad when you have to pay somebody to use it.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Market Forces In Action

    Sure, Microsoft can keep paying others to keep using its software ... until the money runs out. What then?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Dennis Byron, Nov 5th, 2008 @ 6:04am

    Microsoft and South Korea

    Isn't this just a payoff to settle the Korean equivalent of the EU anti-trust case? Actually the U.S. version more or less got settled the same way. Microsoft gave schools millions of dollars worth of free software locking another generation into its products. A great marketing coup.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: they still missed...

    They seem to come for free with Linux.
    IE, WMP, and Outlook come free with Linux? You seem to be hallucinating.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Sure, Microsoft can keep paying others to keep using its software ... until the money runs out. What then?
    Then they squeeze US citizens for more.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Nancy, Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    FREE IS GOOD!!!

    I have been using free software for a while now and It has not hurt my business. If I need a software, I go to http://www.grateware.com and use that search engine to find it. It only finds free software. Pretty cool, and it has saved me thousands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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