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.
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
HELPING HAND: Vaccine eligibility can likely be widened to cover pregnant women now that the nation has more vaccine doses than it planned for, Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan yesterday received a shipment of 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the US, obtaining its largest single batch of vaccines since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. A cargo plane of Taiwanese national carrier China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) carrying the Moderna Inc vaccines landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 4:30pm, after leaving Memphis, Tennessee, early on Saturday, US time. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen were at the airport to welcome the plane. The vaccines were transported to a cold chain logistics center, where they would be inspected
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early
VULNERABLE: The CECC has been moving older infected people or those with underlying health conditions, who were in isolation, to hospitals for better health monitoring The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 75 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, the lowest daily count since the nationwide level 3 alert was issued last month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 75 local infections are 35 males and 40 females, aged from under five to over 80, and they began experiencing symptoms between June 8 and Sunday. New Taipei City reported 38 cases, followed by Taipei with 22, Taoyuan with five, Miaoli County with three, Keelung and Taichung with two each, and Kaohsiung, Yunlin County and Changhua County with one each, CECC