For a while now Microsoft has been an enthusiastic open source supporter, surprising even the die hard open saucers with its zeal.
However it appears to have blotted its copybook in Chile. Ubuntizando says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software.
A magazine called El Sábado de El Mercurio, has written a story explaining that the Microsoft lobby has been extremely effective and is likely to overturn a law that may harm its financial interests.
An independent member of the Chilean Parliament, Vlado Mirosevic, pushed a bill that would allow the state to consider free software when the authorities needed to purchase or renew licenses. The state of Chile pays $2.7 billion on licenses from various companies, including Microsoft.
Redmond representatives met with Mirosevic shortly after he announced his intentions, but the bill passed the vote, with 64 votes in favour, 12 abstentions, and one vote against it. The one negative vote was cast by Daniel Farcas, a member of a Chilean party.
Farcas proposed another bill that actually nullified the effects of the previous one that had just been adopted. What was strange was that a lot of the people who voted in favour of the first law also voted in favour of the second and this was as a result of Microsoft lobbying.
The law aggressively pushes for the adoption of proprietary software. Companies that choose to use proprietary software will receive certain tax breaks, which makes it impossible for free software to get look in.