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Bill Gates: World Domination in Eight Years
You think Microsoft's 95% market strangle is scary? Just wait. While Steve Jobs trims his two day beard and FOSS maniacs debate whether Richard Stallman should be allowed in public restrooms Bill Gates is working - and by 2015 reckons he'll have another one billion Windows users.
Unlimited Potential: that's the euphemism for Bill Gates' latest scheme. Similar to his support for US libraries - as long as they only run his software and only when it's configured exactly as he demands.
No thanks, Bill. Nobody wants your crappy software. And no one wants your standards: they're substandard.
'A new global vision': that's what it's called. Bill Gates has a new global vision. Microsoft Unlimited Potential is 'about helping individuals and communities around the globe achieve their goals and dreams through relevant, accessible, and affordable technologies'. Yeah right.
Says MS rep Orlando Ayala: 'this is not a philanthropic effort - this is a business'. Of course it is.
What Mark Shuttleworth currently offers for free Bill Gates will offer for $3 - that's right: three US bananas.
For those three GWs you'll get Windows XP Starter Edition, Microsoft Office Home, Student 2007, and further educational titles.
$3. Three US dollars.
For the moment brushing aside the rhetorical question how Mister Bill can afford such a stunt - to give away one billion copies of this software for $3 a copy - one has to wonder how Linux, Shuttleworth, the hygienic RMS, OpenOffice, and even Apple will survive. FOSS currently bicker over a 1% market share and Apple, always behind their fearless leader, have about 4%. Yet their doubling their market share is nigh on impossible - and yet Bill Gates thinks it's realistic to double his - an additional one billion users - in eight years.
Think about it.
There are other players in this market initialised by the OLPC (one laptop per child) project. Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Rwanda, Nigeria and Libya are readying to buy serious quantities of the XO laptop as soon as production costs get down to about $100. (They're currently too high at about $150.) Google are giving their software away - and in Egypt, Kenya, and Rwanda have even provided engineers and technical support. Intel's developed the Classmate PC and AMD have their 50x15 scheme aiming to help put IT in the hands of another two billion within the same time frame Bill Gates has.
But whereas these other corporations can to a certain extent be suspected of having at least minimal altruistic leanings, nothing such can ever be construed about the Prince of IT Darkness: his goal is long since clear.
'Although about three million computers get sold every year in China, people don't pay for the software. Someday they will. As long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the future.' - Bill Gates, July 1998
Another one billion Windows users and the game will be over. For FOSS and Apple it will be lost. What Microsoft strangle today they'll smother tomorrow and neither Linux nor Apple can survive in this dystopia glittering in Bill's sparkly eyes.
Those who do not use Windows or Microsoft software titles know they live in a better world. They know it. It's a world where trojans, viruses, spyware, worms, crashes, hangs, and generally third rate products don't exist. And they're generally happy for that. But people in developing countries haven't seen this world yet. Bill wants them to see Windows - and only Windows. And get addicted.
So being content on one's own is no longer good enough. It's time for the 'enlightened' netizens on this planet to pressure their suppliers to stop farting around and take over the markets that should already be theirs.
Shuttleworth, Jobs: do something. The world doesn't need FOSS factions and the world doesn't need the iPod or the iPhone. The world needs a better and safer Internet. Stop thinking about your own billionaire pockets for a second and ponder what that Gollum in Redmond is up to now.
And for the good of everyone on this planet: stop him.