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Did Microsoft Pull A Nigerian Scam?

So, this is kind of weird: A French Linux vendor named Mandriva thinks it has this contract all wrapped up with the Nigerian government. Then, all of a sudden, the government announces that it’s going to pay Mandriva for the computers and software it’s shipping -- but the government’s not going to install the Linux distro; it’s going to run Windows instead.

This leads to rather a catty letter by Mandriva’s CEO, which accuses Steve Ballmer and Microsoft of ... well, dirty deeds, we suppose (possibly even done dirt cheap -- and that might have been at the heart of the issue), but not much else that’s concrete.

We’re wondering a few things here. Why is the Nigerian government going to pay for software it doesn’t intend to use? Why did the CEO of Madriva immediately attack Ballmer rather than ask his own customer what on earth is going on? And if Microsoft really did something so bad, why not come out and name the crime?

It looks as though Mandriva’s little missive is a particularly sour example of French whine. But, hey, we’ve all heard of Mandriva now, right?

Posted by Lee Pender on November 02, 2007 at 11:54 AM


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