[Linux-aus] women at the keyboard

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Fri Feb 21 07:42:02 UTC 2003

On Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 06:15:19PM +1100, Brent Wallis wrote:
> Hi Bret,
> He was here when Pretty at Telstra started playing pathetic games with
> Linux during a round of licence negotiations in order to "lengthen his
> lever stick"......Ballmer flew here by way of Asia and picked up every
> damn senior Telstra guy he could find, on the way for a "conference",
> which was to basically put across their POV that NO price breaks could
> be leveraged from them by way of "playing with Linux".

Here's a little quip passed on to me by an insider at the NOIE symposium
regarding Ballmer's recent trip.  

Apprantly, when Ballmer met with Kim Yeadon (NSW Minister for Information
Technology), the Minister's staff had to convince the good Minister to
abstain from wearing his Tux lapel pin to the meeting. Can you imagine the
thoughts which would have been flying through Ballmer's mind when the
government minister you are trying to conince _not_ to go with Linux, is
wearing the mascot? ;-)

> Why isn't he here now? Surely this is more threatening and important to
> their business? After all these years of abject hate for Open Source, it
> will be difficult for them to reverse the perception.
> They are "spin doctoring"....they are trying to "soften" and "warmly
> relate" with open source...Ballmer could never do it!.....but maybe this
> person can.....? 

It is now obvious that Microsoft's aim is to usher in a very differnt era 
with respect to engaging Linux/FOSS. The full-frontal attacks (with Gates 
leading the charge) are backfiring, and badly. The person chosen to 
deliver this message at the NOIE event was thorough, credible, 
softly-spoken and effective at achieving delivery on this new message.

My suggestion to you all is to consider this new marketing material that
Microsoft is making available, and to analyse it from the perspective of
accuracy and proven implementation. For instance, they say that are all
for open standards and document formats, but what percentage of their
protocols and data formats are open to scrutiny and re-implementation? We
need categorical evidence to show what the truth is. If they are indeed
starting to change their ways (cough,) then we should applaud the, If this
is all a meticulous projection and faux-Platonic shadow play, then we must
expose it, and quickly.


Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
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