Microsoft’s Nigerian Scam

So Mandriva Linux won a contract with the Nigerian government to put their distro on 17000 inexpensive notebook computers for school children (and apparently do technical support too). Mandriva announced it on their blog on October 30. On Halloween, they posted that the Nigerians were saying “we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward.”

This of course came as a shock. Why?

It turns out that the “we” in the above quote was not the Nigerian government, but rather Mandriva’s ‘partner’ in building the notebooks, Technology Support Center Ltd. (TSC). The Nigerian government really does want Mandriva on these computers, but TSC would receive $400000 (nearly $25 per computer) from Microsoft “for marketing activities around the Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows”.

Hmm… can we say BRIBE?

Further discussion here.  Note that Mandriva was one of the distros that refused to pay Microsoft extortion money. What’s worse is that Microsoft is trying to push Windows on these kids in order to get them “addicted” so that they will be forced to pay to use computers in the future. Could you imagine a drug dealer bribing a school supplier to include addictive substances in the food poor children will eat so that he will have a future market? That’s the sort of people you can find at Microsoft.


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