It doesn't top the official agenda, but as government leaders converge at Microsoft Corp for an annual conference, one of the company's major competitors -- Linux -- is likely to be on executives' minds. \nMicrosoft had representatives from 61 countries Monday and yesterday at its Redmond, Washington, campus for its annual Government Leaders Summit. \nBut with the disclosure that Microsoft has been using a fund to steeply discount its software to government agencies that are considering competitors' cheaper products, the Linux phenomenon will doubtlessly come up. \nAlso Monday, Microsoft announced a new deal to license UNIX technology from SCO Group. The move is seen by Microsoft detractors as a bid by the software giant to undermine the Linux operating system, a Unix offshoot, as a competitor. \nLast week, SCO sent letters to Linux customers claiming the software is an "unauthorized derivative" of its property. \nAt the conference, Microsoft will tout the message that there's more to software than just its upfront costs. However, it's clear the company will accept huge discounts to ensure it does not lose the lucrative government and educational market. \n"Where there are competitive options, Microsoft is often willing to go to the mat to make sure they get a deal," said Michael Gartenberg, research director for Jupiter Research. \nThe summit will focus on such topics as technology and its role in driving economic development, the delivery of government services over the Internet and Microsoft's vision for where technology is heading, said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel. \nBut the summit comes amid a struggling global economy and the increasing popularity of the free Linux open-source software -- in which big-name vendors like IBM are creating and selling lower-cost software. \nIn recent months, government agencies from Germany to France to Peru have adopted or are considering Linux-based software as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft products. \nTo counter that, Microsoft last July established the Education and Government Incentive program, which allows the company to steeply discount software for government and academic agencies, Smith said. \nThe threat to Microsoft is clear from an e-mail last year by Orlando Ayala, then Microsoft's worldwide sales chief. \nAyala wrote, "Under NO circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program actively and in a smart way," Smith told reporters. The company declined to share the full e-mail. \nThe program is geared mostly for developing countries, where agencies may be less able to afford Microsoft software, Smith said. \nHe brushed aside concerns that Microsoft may be using its massive cash hoard -- more than US$40 billion -- to discount products unlawfully or in other ways that violate EU laws.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while
‘HISTORIC’: The passage of the resolution by both chambers of the French parliament shows their concrete support for Taiwan’s global participation, the foreign ministry said The government yesterday thanked the French National Assembly for adopting a resolution on Monday in support of Taiwan’s international participation, following a similar resolution passed by the French Senate in May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the resolution’s passage as “historic” and as demonstrating the concrete support of both chambers of the French parliament for Taiwan’s participation in international affairs. Taiwan and France have shared a long-standing partnership characterized by a high level of trust, and based on the shared values of democracy, freedom and human rights, the ministry said. Passed on Monday in a 39-2 vote with three abstentions, the non-legally