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Microsoft to Obama: Say no to Canadian gadgets

The software company wants the new president to use Windows Mobile to avoid the devilish Canadians. They better throw away all the Nokia phones too.

Never one to be silent when its dominance is threatened, Microsoft is now suggesting that new U.S. President Barack Obama should use a Windows Mobile device to avoid letting those unscrupulous Canadians get hold of his supersecret e-mails.

I'm all for bashing the competition (and Canadians), but this borders on the absurd. Besides the fact that the data stream can easily stay within the United States, Microsoft should have been able to come up with a better potential threat from those sneaky Canucks.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft, however, has questioned the wisdom of the president relying on a device whose maker is based in Canada. "You would be sending your data outside the country," says Randy Siegel, a Microsoft enterprise mobile strategist who works on federal-government projects. "We wouldn't want the casual musings or official communications of the most important person in the world being intercepted by others."

Even if RIM routed information through a U.S. data center, the devices aren't built to NSA's security specs, he says. RIM declined to comment.

Mr. Siegel argues that a better alternative would be a National Security Agency-approved device, such as the Sectera Edge. Made by defense contractor General Dynamics and powered by Microsoft's Windows CE software, the Edge is a smartphone that secures voice as well as data use. It was certified by the NSA in December 2007 but didn't become available until this month, and the 12-ounce device costs about $3,350.

It's pretty amazing how Microsoft will go to such great lengths to stop competition. Or maybe Microsoft considers Canada a true threat.

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