Microsoft accused of pulling Nigerian scam

Microsoft accused of pulling Nigerian scam

Microsoft squeezes out Linux competitor over educational laptop sale

Mandriva chief executive Francois Bancilhon has lashed out against Microsoft for alleged dirty sales tactics over a Nigerian deal.

The French Linux vendor competed against the software giant for a deal to provide the software for Intel's Classmate PCs in Nigeria. The computer is a low cost notebook computer for developing nations and supports both Linux and Windows operating systems.

The Linux vendor reeled in the contract and started shipping its software for the first 17,000 Classmate PCs. But it soon found out that Microsoft's sales team had continued to keep pushing for a deal.

"Today, we hear from the customer a totally different story: 'We shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward,'" Bancilhon complained in an open letter that was posted on a company blog on Wednesday.

The tone of the posting became agitated and Bancilhon suggested that Microsoft used unscrupulous business tactics, apparently claiming that Microsoft bribed officials.

"What have you done for these guys to change their mind like this? It’s pretty clear to me, and it will be clear to everyone. How do you call what you just did Steve, in the place where you live? In my place, they give it various names, I’m sure you know them."

"Hey Steve, how do you feel looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning? "

"Of course, I will keep fighting this one and the next one, and the next one. You have the money, the power, and maybe we have a different sense of ethics you and I, but I believe that hard work, good technology and ethics can win too."

Microsoft denied any wrongdoings and aruged instead that Nigera had changed its mind because Windows better matched its needs.

"Microsoft strongly believes that individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to use the software and other technologies that best meet their needs. We believe Microsoft offers the best overall option of value, integration, interoperability and support, without complexity or added dependency on services," the company said in an emailed statement.

"Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government in Nigeria and will continue to partner with government and industry to help meet their needs. Microsoft operates its business in accordance both with the laws of the countries in which it operates and with international law."