23 February 2009

Microsoft's "Enervate America" Programme

You got to hand it to Microsoft, they certainly know how to scavenge off dead and dying bodies:

Microsoft Corp. today announced a new initiative, Elevate America, which will provide up to 2 million people over the next three years with the technology training needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.


“Millions of Americans don’t have the technology skills needed in today’s economy. Through Elevate America, we want to help workers get the skills they need to succeed,” Passman said. “We are also providing a full range of work force development resources for state and local governments so they can offer specialized training for their workers.”

And if you were wondering what "specialized training" meant:

A new online resource, located at http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica, is available today. This new Web site helps individuals understand what types of technical skills they need for the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities of today and tomorrow, and resources to help acquire these skills. The Web site provides access to several Microsoft online training programs, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a résumé, as well as more advanced programs on using specific Microsoft applications.

Bet there's not much Firefox, Thunderbird of OpenOffice.org in *there*.

It's a clever ploy, because it means that the state and local governments in the US don't have to pay to re-train workers made redundant. For Microsoft, of course, it's a brilliant way to turn people desperate to improve their financial situation into vectors of its threatened techno-orthdoxy.

Sadly, the net result is that people are being trained how to use 20th century technology for that 21st-century economy - more "Enervate America" than "Elevate America". For a telling contrast, just think of all those millions of young Brazilians who are growing up with a real understanding of what computers are about and for....

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