Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Halal Microsoft?

I've just read a very funny article in TheStar today. It seems, that our government has some fancy new idea of setting up a halal food hub in Malaysia. There is nothing wrong with that idea. They've tapped on Microsoft to build the system for the technology hub. Still okay. What's funny is that they've suggested that Microsoft partner the government and go into the venture together. WTF??!!

I just couldn't stay quiet on this piece of news. It's just too juicy. It's technological, and political at the same time. I rarely come across rare gems like this. I can see the advantage for the government if Microsoft signs up for the halal business. However, I really do not see any advantage for Microsoft to go into this business. Microsoft is a technology company. It does not have any experience or expertise in the retail food business. So, there really isn't any sense to ask them to sign up. However, Steve Ballmer was nice enough to tell the local politicians that he would think about it. However, I'm sure that he's laughing his arse off behind their backs.

I sometimes wonder what MIMOS is up to. It seems to be engaged in a lot of weird project in recent years. A couple of years ago, they came up with a Malaysian Linux distro, which I quickly reviewed. Then, I got in touch with the developers only to find out that they were developing the Linux distro using Windows. WTF??!! I wonder what has happened to MIMOS championing Open Source in Malaysia. Oh yes, all that changed when our new PM took over. He re-worded the government policies to no longer support Open Source, probably due to pressure by Microsoft.

The halal food business is certainly a profitable one. That's why there are so many Chinese businessmen involved in it. Trying to computerise everything in order to make it more efficient is also a good idea. Selecting Microsoft as a technology partner is possibly a reasonable idea as long as they set up an appropriate technology solution. But trying to encourage Microsoft to go into the food industry is a joke!

I'm kind of ashamed to say this but what's happend to the MIMOS? It used to be a cool technology company that brought the Internet revolution to Malaysia. It was the only rock solid ISP in Malaysia. I guess this is what happens when politicians interfere with technology policies. Technology is impartial to politics!

PS. I'd just posted the original article to Reddit. I wonder what the response would be.

No comments: