Linux News: Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media?

Posted by tadelste on Nov 22, 2005 9:16 AM EDT
Lxer Day Desk; By Lxer Day Desk
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LXer Day Desk: 11-22-2005

Does Microsoft's Monopoly Power Extend to Government and Media? That seems like a rhetorical question given their little power play in Massachusetts. Is now the time to share our experience with the rest of the world?


Two articles in the Dallas Morning News caught my eye and reminded me of Microsoft's dominance in influencing news. Yet, each story seems like such unrelated subject matter. If I didn't know better, I would just smile and not even think about the connections.

The first story is entitled For Microsoft time to run up the score. The lead by Victor Godinez says:

It's original Xbox lost money, but the new version aims to dominate, turn a profit

With all the technology news in north and central Texas, home to Texas Instruments, EDS, Dell and hundreds of telecom companies, why am I reading about a product that has never made a profit?

The above article demonstrates how Microsoft has succeeded in impressing newspaper writers. For day trips to wonderful Redmond and the royal treatment and these guys do back flips. If the purpose of a newspaper is to offer news and entertainment to its readers, where's the news? What's going on in Dallas-FtWorth and Austin in the tech sector?

The second article not so obvious

Down here, we have a real situation on our hands. It all revolves around the relationship with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his former Microsoft Lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Of course, Abramoff worked for Preston Gates and Ellis, the law firm and lobbyist for Microsoft that has Bill's dad's name on the door.

Ex-Delay aide Michael Scanlon, a business partner of Jack Abramoff and top aide to DeLay pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a member of Congress and other public officials. He agree to repay $19.6 million dollars to clients.

He acknowledged in a plea agreement that he and Mr. Abramoff agreed to make lavish gifts to public officials, including all expense-paid trips to Europe and the Super-Bowl in exchange for official actions.

One of those trips for Tom DeLay included an American Express receipt charged to Preston Gates and Ellis. Of course if you have excessive influence in the media you can bury such facts.

On to the Boston Herald

In an article entitled Open source opens sore eyes writer Jesse Noyes writes:

In a move that could improve Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.’s relations with government agencies, the behemoth software maker is moving toward establishing an open standard of technology for its ubiquitous Office software suite.

A number of computer and software companies, including rivals Apple Computer Inc. and Intel Corp., lined up behind Microsoft as it handed over its specifications for Office 12 – due out next year – to Switzerland-based standards organization Ecma International.

I started reading the story and immediately thought about how officials in Massachusetts had defanged Governor Mit Romney and CIO Peter Quinn. Cub reporter, Noyes goes on to praise Microsoft by writing:

Microsoft has drawn fire both overseas and from local governments for holding a monopoly on document software.

In a controversial move last August, Gov. Mitt Romney directed the state government’s top offices to store records in OpenDocument format. Romney’s administration argued keeping records archived in Microsoft Office made it vulnerable to becoming obsolete.

This reminds me of the cub reporter the Dallas Morning News made their technology specialist. We're talking spin zone, I mean really the spin zone. Noyes cannot even get the acronym for ODF right and then he has the audacity to suggest that Bill Gates & Co. made a "move that could improve Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.’s relations with government agencies". How much of an improvement, he doesn't say.

What to Do?

OK. This has finally gotten out of hand. We're way past the tolerance level. I don't care how many of you detest counter-media figures like Bill O'Reilly and Wolf Blitzer, but it's time to email them. They will respond to your email. They see massive email and they respond.

This stuff has to get into the major media and we have to do it. I won't tell you what to write, but I will suggest that you ask them to investigate the link between Microsoft and the recent decisions in Massachusetts regarding the Open Document Format. Tell the story as best you can. Below are ways to write these guys.

Additionally, please post names and email addresses of other media people who can't afford to miss a story like this. It will take a lot of emails, so please make sure you chose National Media figures with significant followings.

Repectfully submitted

The Situation Room

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Reed reports Microsoft paid him $1.57 million henke54 24 3,927 May 7, 2006 11:57 AM
Liberal Media Bias halfmnhlfamazng 22 4,351 Nov 26, 2005 3:01 PM
other media contacts for 'Microsoft's Monopoly Power' tuxchick 8 5,578 Nov 23, 2005 9:43 AM
Things are not as bad as you think jayrfink 0 3,696 Nov 22, 2005 10:22 PM
My email to Bill O'Reilly at Fox tadelste 1 4,392 Nov 22, 2005 6:50 PM
Digg Overloaded? No way. Any Microsoft thoughts? tadelste 0 3,395 Nov 22, 2005 11:22 AM

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