2009-11-15

Firefox Den Einai Xenos!

(Poor translation on Google Translate: Firefox Is No Stranger!)
Apparently, to IBM, it is.
To summarize, it seems like someone applying for a job to fix/manage Linux servers through an Indian contractor has been fired for using Linux and/or Firefox.
It is not surprising that a Linux project manager at IBM (whom he had to contact to notify completion of an online competency test made by VISA) should not know what Linux is when told that this may be a reason why the page for the test isn't rendering at all.
"What's this [Foxfire] thing?" (The braces indicate emphasis which was not originally present.)
Are you serious?
Are you telling me that in this day and age where Firefox has 25% market share of web browsers and has crossed 50% in many countries (mostly in Europe), there are still people, much less technology company project managers (specializing in Linux, no less), who don't know what Firefox is?
This is, to say the least, ridiculous.
The story gets better.
After trying to get around the problem through IE4Linux and messing around with the user agent strings in Firefox, this person calls tech support. Rather than actually give him help, tech support takes note of who he is, confirms the identity with the IBM Linux project manager, and relays the information upwards. The person is fired for "refusing to use Windows and Internet Explorer".
Linux has a long ways to go before it can truly supplant Windows; it is not surprising (but sad) that a refusal to use Windows can be harmful.
A refusal to use IE? Can that still be bad in this day and age?
What if he used a Mac and was using Safari? Would he still have been rejected? If not, it's a clear prejudiced bias against Linux. If so, the project manager has been living under a rock.
What really finishes the story is the irony of the whole thing, as IBM supposedly "supports Linux".
Tech support really needs a massive overhaul at every company. Ignorance like this just can't go on.

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