Mandriva bigwig (nearly) accuses Ballmer of b-word
17,000 Nigerian Linux boxes mysteriously switched to Windows
Mandriva CEO François Bancilhon has asked Steve Ballmer what it feels like to look at himself in the mirror.
In an open letter to the Microsoft head honcho, posted to the web late last night, Bancilhon claims that the Nigerian government has somehow decided to install Windows on 17,000 brand new PCs already equipped with Mandriva Linux. And he questions whether Ballmer and company used dirty tricks to make it happen.
According to Bancilhon, Mandriva just shipped 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs (CMPCs) to the Nigerian government for use in local schools. And naturally, all 17,0000 were pre-loaded with the company's latest Linux distro, Mandriva 2008.
The Paris-based Linux outfit recently opened a new headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, hoping to spread open source tools throughout West Africa. But it seems to be facing some stiff competition from that software behemoth in Redmond.
Evidently, Microsoft had urged the Nigerian government to choose Windows for those 17,000 school machines. But in the end, Mandriva won the day.
"We presented the solution to the local government, they liked the machine, they liked our system, they liked what we offered them, the fact that it was open, that we could customize it for their country and so on," Bancilhon tells Ballmer. "Then your people entered the game and the deal got more competitive. I would not say it got dirty, but someone could have said that. They fought and fought the deal, but still the customer was happy to get CMPC and Mandriva."
Well, Mandriva won the day temporarily.
Next page: Steve and the mirror
@Billy Goat Gruff
<quote>As long as we insist young employees understand how to use Windows-based software then educating them in something else is wrong. </quote>
What are you talking about? What does windows do? Runs programs and manages files, thats all, exactly like Linux does. Point click drag drop. That's all.
At my school we are 100% linux. Naturally we use OOo. Do I think kids can manage on Windows and MS Office? Of course they can, its the same, only simpler and easier (only 1 choice of everything, designed for your grandma to be able to understand)
Hahahaha are you serious? Microsoft's patch history is better then Linux? I'm no fanboy but I've read plenty of stories where weird and wonderful things happened after an XP patch was applied. In the 6 months I've been using Ubuntu after I got sick of Vista I've never had any issues with a patch nor have I ever heard of any such problems.
No dodginess in Linux sale?
Imagine this scenario:
17,000 PCs running Windows = $X milion
17,000 PCs running Linux = $Y million (where Y < X)
Purchase order for 17,000 PCs running Linux made out for $Y million
Invoice to Nigerian government for 17,000 PCs running Windows made out for $X million
Intermediary/someone pockets ($X - $Y) million.
Judging by people's apparent opinion of Nigeria and its government, it doesn't sound a too far fetched situation. Maybe MS just made a better offer? ;)
Re: "Good, these are the last people we want on UNIX!"
Nigerian school children are the last people we (you) want on unix?
err, are you *sure* that's what you meant?
hmmm - let me see...
you can have an OS that is used by the nerd minority or the most popular OS in the world - difficult choice