Soak the rich
Guambat reckons that socialism hasn't got much form. But more so for its political faults than its economic ones. Guambat reckons that any system that makes allowances for power and greed for their own sake is likely to be a poor place to raise the kids, be it Stalinist Russia, Fascist Italy or Forbe-ist Wall Street.
Thus it is that Guambat is somewhat shocked at the notion that the richest monopoly in the world (not necessarily the riches oligopoly; that's another issue) is prepared to blatantly soak the rich to give to the poor. Perhaps it ain't so; perhaps its just the drug dealer's loss-leading "come on kid, the first one's free". But that's how the spinmeisters are spinning the story:
Microsoft aims to reach next billion PC users By Ina Fried
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is using a speech in Beijing to unveil a new low-cost bundle of Office and Windows, one of several new initiatives aimed at getting PCs into the hands of more people in emerging markets.
The software maker will offer the $3 Student Innovation Suite to governments that agree to directly purchase PCs for students to use in their schoolwork and at home. Gates plans to announce the program at a company-sponsored forum for government leaders.
The collection of software, which will start shipping in the second half of this year, includes Windows XP Starter Edition, Office Home and Student 2007, Windows Live Mail Desktop and several educational products. The $3 price includes the software license, while backup discs and documentation will cost extra. In order to be eligible, governments must pick up at least half the tab for the PC, though the software can also be used on refurbished computers, which can cost as little as $50, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is hoping this program and others will help the company reach more of the 5 billion people who have yet to benefit from the PC revolution.
"We've set an internal goal that by 2015 we will help to reach the first billion of the next 5 billion that have been underserved," said Will Poole, the corporate vice president who heads Microsoft's market expansion group.
Poole said that in the developed world Microsoft has largely reached its goal of a PC on every desktop and in every home. "The PC is an expected appliance in the home for access to information, for schoolwork," Poole said. But, he said, that still leaves five out of every six people on the planet without a PC.
So just you remember that when you spend your next several hundred dollars to upgrade, voluntarily or othewise, your MS bundle. They could offer you the whole shebang for a few shekels. But, hey, they've got the taxing power to soak the rich.
And that's you, sucker.
Microsoft plans £1.50 XP & Office package
Microsoft's latest moves to spread technology to emerging markets should not be seen as purely altruistic.
"You'll find that Microsoft would be fairly open if pushed that they don't go into a market for philanthropic reasons," said Clive Longbottom, founder and analyst of technology research firm Quocirca. He said Microsoft has to find more creative ways to distribute its software in emerging markets where open-source software and Linux have a foothold. The company has wisely decided partnering with local governments and global organisations to get software in the hands of students and developers is a good way to do that, he said.