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Lessons from Africa: How to Kill Your Own FUD

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In a world where the big conglomerates and industries tend to roll over the little guy, it was really nice to see the government of Nigeria put the kibosh on Microsoft's planned takeover of the Mandriva/Classmate PC deal in that country.

The original deal called for the initial deployment of 17,000 Classmates, all pre-loaded with Mandriva, to be purchased by Nigeria and deployed by a private supplier, Technology Support Center. For some reason--nobody's completely sure why, though there's a good guess coming up--the TSC informed Mandriva that they would reinstall Windows XP on those machines before deploying them.

Understandably, the folks at Mandriva were--pardon their French--pissed. CEO François Bancilhon broke out the whup-ass (another French term) and fired off a public letter that stopped juts short of accusing Microsoft of corruption.

Today, we learned from a Computerworld UK story, there did seem to be some money floating around in the back channels. Apparently, according to Microsoft's own man on the ground in Nigeria, "Microsoft is still negotiating an agreement that would give TSC US$400,000 for marketing activities around the Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows."

Here's what I want to know (he wrote facetiously): in a world where Windows is supposed to be so much better than Linux on every platform, how come Microsoft has to pay people to get them to use it instead of Linux?

Uh huh, thought so.

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