The Hegemony of Microsoft®: An Australian Story

Each Australian state and the Australian Capital Territory has signed a ‘whole of education department’ contract with the Microsoft® Corporation for the provision of operating systems and other software. This contracted use of Microsoft® products is one story where the purchase of specific commodities is directly connected to the provision of public schooling. It is argued that through these contracts Microsoft® exercises a hegemonic relationship with the schooling systems in Australia. The legal relationships that exist between Microsoft® Corporation and the respective Australian states and territories schooling systems seem to mutually maintain and reinforce the monopolistic, or at best, oligopolistic position of Microsoft® Corporation and its hegemony over Australian public schooling. Further, it is argued that Microsoft’s® hegemonic position in part is maintained by both establishing a ‘commonsense’ about its products and by receiving legitimation and authority through the State for its products used in Australian schools.

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By Kathryn Moyle

Each Australian state and the Australian Capital Territory has signed a ‘whole of education department’ contract with the Microsoft® Corporation for the provision of operating systems and other software. This contracted use of Microsoft® products is one story where the purchase of specific commodities is directly connected to the provision of public schooling. It is argued that through these contracts Microsoft® exercises a hegemonic relationship with the schooling systems in Australia. The legal relationships that exist between Microsoft® Corporation and the respective Australian states and territories schooling systems seem to mutually maintain and reinforce the monopolistic, or at best, oligopolistic position of Microsoft® Corporation and its hegemony over Australian public schooling. Further, it is argued that Microsoft’s® hegemonic position in part is maintained by both establishing a ‘commonsense’ about its products and by receiving legitimation and authority through the State for its products used in Australian schools.

page: 213 – 230
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 21, Issue 2

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