Microsoft has apparently scored a small victory in the Philippines.
Manila Bulletin Online is reporting that St. Paul College, Pasig, has ditched its Linux-based operating system in favour of Microsoft Vista and Office 2007, due to "incompatibility".
"Our students usually present their class reports using Microsoft PowerPoint," college 'Directress' Sister Teresita Baricaua told Manila Bulletin Online. "When these are given out as homework, they use their computers at home to prepare their reports with PowerPoint."
Hold on though, just what is incompatible with what here? Is this an example of evil Linux being willfully incompatible with poor Microsoft, or an example of evil Microsoft hegemony in action? Or neither? I'll let you decide.
The article goes on to say that since 1996 the college has been running a "literacy program" for staff -- and here I'm assuming they mean "computer literacy" rather than courses for the teachers that can't read and write -- and that going back to Microsoft enables the staff to use their Microsoft skills.
"Our teachers don’t get to use what they’ve learned from the training because our computers had been running on Linux," said Baricaua. "Shifting to Microsoft will give them avenues and opportunities to maximize their training."
Hmm, now that's a pretty poor argument. Surely the school could start giving "Linux literacy" courses instead? Most teachers I know actively encourage learning new skills, including for themselves.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is spending some of its profits on encouraging more people to buy Vista. Last week, Guardian journalists Charles Arthur and Jack Schofield commented on Microsoft's 'Mohave' experiment, in which die-hard XP users were invited to try a supposedly new version of Windows, then, ta-daa, were told it was actually Vista.
"Son of a gun. You got me," said one astounded punter, who had expressed dislike for Vista, but approved of 'Mohave'.
The only problem with this strategy is that it implies that the user is wrong in not liking the wizzy Vista, but as the Guardian points out, of course a demonstration Vista is going to be slick -- it's what happens when the customers get it home and try to use it on their own systems that counts. When customers find they have to upgrade their hardware, or at the very least reinstall a number of drivers to make Vista work properly, that's when the magic could fade.