[Fsf-friends] Re: Microsoft to conduct five e-Gov seminars in India

Ramanraj K ramanraj@md4.vsnl.net.in
Thu Mar 25 07:59:13 IST 2004

  Frederick Noronha (FN) wrote:

>Hi Atul, I certainly think this should be done. You have my full support. 
>Copying this to FSF-FRIENDS....
>On Mon, 15 Mar 2004, Atul Asthana @ home wrote:
>>Dear Frederick,
>>Was planning to start a campaign to write to MLAs/MPs, Ministers, 
>>Bureaucrats stating advantages of OSS over Microsoft....
It is reported that Microsoft has been fined by the European Commission 
for certain illegal activities.

Microsoft Corp. was ordered by European Union regulators to pay a 497 
million-euro ($609 million) fine, share secret programming information 
with competitors and offer a version of Windows without a music and 
video player, ending a five-year antitrust investigation.

The world's largest software maker illegally used its monopoly in 
personal computer operating systems to quash competition from rival 
makers of server software and media players such as RealNetworks Inc., 
the European Commission ruled.

Looks like Microsoft has to go a long way before it can even think of 
assisting Indian States with `e-Governance' Projects.  Any kind of 
dealing with companies or entities with a track record of such illegal 
activities would be generally avoided by the prudent.  Entrusting or 
even discussing `e-Governance' Projects with such entities fined for 
illegal behaviour is a grave risk in itself and the very credibility of 
the decision makers could become questionable.

Of course, availability of free software totally negates the very 
thought of using non-free software in democracies.  Besides, MS has 
never proved or showed its competence in `e-Governance'. Above all, 
people truly serious about e-Governance that promises transparency and 
accountability would be interested in installing and using GNU Mailman 
or like utility as the first step in this direction.

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