Koreans raise the Anti-Microsoft standard

Save our software - first published 10 July 1998

Korean protesters against Microsoft -orchestrated plans to scrap the country's leading wordprocessor - are putting their money where their mouths are. The Korea Venture Business Association (KVBA) says it can raise the money needed to safeguard the future of the programme, called Ah Rae Ah Hangul. The KVBA said it could meet Hangul's debt guarantee obligations within three months, through a 10 billion won ($7.3 million) share or convertible bond issue. It said the full investment amount could be raised through a 70 billion won contribution from Korean VC firms, and the rest coming from donations from the public. The KVBA is backed by a pressure group "The Movement to Keep A Rae A Hangul". This is conducting a tin-rattling exercise which calls on each Korean citizen to keep the software alive by contributing 10,000 won (US $7). The pressure group said it would raise 3 billion won by the end of the month. The KVBA has demanded that the software owner Hangul & Computer should end negotiations with Microsoft. Hangul is formalising a deal whereby Microsoft pays $10-$20 million in the financially -troubled company. In return, it will axe future development of Ah Rae Ah Hangul, market leader in the Korean market with more than 80 per cent share. According to Korean reports, negotiations between Microsoft Korea and Hangul are proceeding as planned. Microsoft is playing with nationalist fire here. Is it really worth messing with a country capable of throwing up a save our software campaign? The Register thinks not. ®

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