Microsoft Office for $3? Third World Perks
Microsoft is going to be
giving away selling their software bundles for $3. Three freaking dollars!
In Beijing this morning, Bill Gates announced plans for Microsoft to offer a package of Windows, Office and other software for $3 to government programs that distribute subsidized PCs to students around the world. The "Student Innovation Suite," to be released later this year, is part of a new push by the company to increase access to computers around the world, and in developing nations in particular.
The company says it will sell a software suite containing those programs and others for $3 to government initiatives that distribute subsidized PCs to students in India, China and elsewhere. The suite will also be available to government programs that supply computers to low-income students in developed nations, including the U.S.
What's the going rate for bootleg software in most Third World countries, I wonder - is this competitive pricing?
Essentially, Microsoft is trying to
get their claws into spread their technology across the computing world, partly to be nice and partly to keep anyone in poor countries from using Linux.
If the company doesn't take action, the risk is that there "may be billions of these computers that will not have Microsoft software," he said. Although Microsoft wants to "make good for the world" by increasing access to computers, it also wants to position its business to be part of the market expansion.
There are cynical things to be said about this, but as Seattlest points out, can you see Apple doing something even close to offering affordable software? To anyone?
Steve Jobs? Offering cheap software to poor students in Third World countries? No.
Yelling at poor students in Third World countries? Most definitely.
(Picture by Jeff Wilcox)