Microsoft offer not good enough

After attracting bad press globally for its actions against local charity, PCs for Kids, Microsoft has announced that it will make a $65,000 technology donation to a number of associated community groups - but it won't be enough to save the charity.

Microsoft was lambasted by the media, both locally and internationally, after it slapped a copyright infringement notice on PCs for Kids when it discovered that the charity, which refurbishes donated computers for underprivileged kids, was loading unlicensed Microsoft software on the machines. Microsoft is now attempting to patch the damage by making a "gesture of goodwill" to a group of Geelong charities.

According to a statement, Microsoft will be providing 150 Windows 95 licences to the local Rotary "Donations in Kind" program, as well as providing ten refurbished PCs with "modern software" and net access to Geelong's YMCA. This is in contrast to the 1000-odd computers distributed by PCs for Kids since its launch in mid-1999.

Although admitting that it could not comply with PCs for Kids' request for 2300 copies of Microsoft software - which would have been valued at more than $400,000 - Microsoft hoped that it would "provide valuable assistance directly to the Geelong community" nonetheless.

However, the offer has done little to help PCs for Kids, according to founder Colin Bayes.

"This kind offer does nothing to address the copyright issue, which leaves us with hundreds of kids on our waiting list, not to mention those who will need systems in the future," he said.

"Our project of assisting less fortunate children will have to close as we do not have the funds to purchase the required software needed to refurbish the older technology kindly donated to PCs for Kids," he added.

After numerous meetings held between the two parties to nut out a solution, the tech giant decided that it would not grant any copyright exemptions. In a letter from Microsoft to the charity, Microsoft outlined that it could not provide the requested copies of software, because the cost would "represent a significant proportion of [Microsoft's] community assistance initiative budget" and would require "special authorisation". Subsequently, the concentration of funds in one area would hinder Microsoft's ability to "reach a truly broad audience across Australia" with their charitable efforts.

The letter also informs PCs for Kids that "it seems to us that what you're ultimately seeking is a refurbisher's licence" - a program that is not offered in Australia.

Bayes, who wrote an impassioned letter to Bill Gates regarding the situation, reiterated his plea to the Microsoft founder.

"We at PCs for Kids have one question for the well known philanthropist Mr Gates," he said. "Why should less fortunate kids be made to pay again for software already donated by our community?"

"As the founder of PCs for Kids I am ashamed at this half-hearted offer by Microsoft and urge all our supporters to call Microsoft and voice your concern," he added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ronda Field

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?