They tried bribery, they tried bullying. And both worked. But only for a little while….
Mandriva had closed a deal in mid-August to provide a customised Linux operating system and support for 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs intended for Nigerian schools, but found out last week that the company deploying the computers for the government, Technology Support Center (TSC), planned to wipe the computers’ disks and install Windows XP instead.
Now, however, a government agency funding 11,000 of the PCs has overruled the supplier. Nigeria’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) wants to keep Mandriva Linux on the Classmate PCs, said an official who identified himself as the programme manager for USPF’s Classmate PCs project.
“We are sticking with that platform,” said the official, who would not give his name.
There is still a chance that Microsoft will prevail and become the operating system “of choice” for the Nigerians….
Microsoft is still negotiating an agreement that would give TSC US$400,000 (£190,323) for marketing activities around the Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows.
Wow. A bribe of nearly a half million dollars. Go Bill Gates!
“Microsoft is able to offer a comprehensive education solution – including software, training and support – on the 17,000 Classmate PCs for 200 schools across Nigeria,” the statement said.
After public statements from Mandriva officials implied the marketing deal is legally questionable, Microsoft said last week that it complies with international law and the law of the countries in which it operates.
Complying with the law? In Nigeria? Do they understand how funny that is
I strongly suspect that Microsoft will win this one. All they need to do is to keep paying more and more in the way of extortion, and they have the pockets to do this. The Nigerians will not have the will to resist.