That's what this news would lead one to suspect. In sum, Mandriva won a deal with the Nigerian government, only to have Microsoft fight tooth and nail after the fact to win it back. Just good competition, right? Maybe. But Mandriva's CEO points to something a bit more (or less, depending on how you look at it).
In an open letter to Steve Ballmer, Mandriva CEO Fran?ois Bancilhon called out Microsoft's tactics:
Then your people entered the game and the deal got more competitive. I would not say it got dirty, but someone could have said that. They fought and fought the deal, but still the customer was happy to get CMPC and Mandriva.
So we closed the deal, we got the order, we qualified the software, we got the machine shipped. In other word, we did our job. I understand the machine are being delivered right now.
And then, today, we hear from the customer a totally different story: "we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward."
Just a hunch, but I suspect the reason Nigeria can afford to buy both Mandriva Linux and Microsoft Windows is that Microsoft is giving away Windows. Microsoft is playing for keeps, and it has so much money in the bank that it could afford to give away its software for the next 3,000 years (or so :-).
The one positive from this is that Mandriva looks to be holding firm on not tying up with Microsoft over patents. Good for you, Mandriva. A "partnership" wouldn't have helped in this instance, anyway.