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Election Day is finally here. There are 659 seats up for grabs and 74 political parties in the contest. It'll be a first-past-for-the-post system so Labour will get an unreasonable majority and be able to do much as it pleases with the country for the next five years.

This could be good news, could be bad, we'll have to see. But one group of who will be chuffed is - Microsoft.

Don't be surprised if the next election's ballot papers come with a "sponsored by Microsoft" stamp.

Yes, folks. A vote for Labour is a vote for Microsoft. Bill Gates has Tony Blair's ear on all things IT and of course the fact that he is the richest man in the world may help a little.

When Tony was trying to work out what all this Internet stuff was at the beginning of his first term, billg popped over and told him. Needless to say, the government chose everyone's first choice for building vast interconnected networks that require excellent security and unshakeable stability: that's right, Microsoft.

And so Microsoft saves the UK government's bacon by producing an open government gateway that is late and buggy. It also introduced the extremely popular feature of only allowing citizens to access the portal if they used Internet Explorer.

And then the Labour Party decided to launch its business manifesto. Where else but at Microsoft's Reading HQ? When there, Microsoft proved itself even more capable at spin and media manipulation that the much-vaunted Labour party when it pulled off a PR coup by getting Tony Blair to sit through a 10-minute XP demo - the day before it was officially launched. ®

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e-Envoy's office defends Windows-only portal - climb down begins?
MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers

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