[Linux-aus] Headline - Gates, Howard launch $40m project

Brent Wallis (IS) brent at wallis.id.au
Wed Jun 30 08:31:01 UTC 2004


Hmm and there are other things to consider.

Numbers mean different things to different people:

At what level of pricing was that?
The best price?
How much does this ACTUALLY cost MS?
A few CDs and a pittance lost in licence revenue?

What about the added costs that would not exist with
alternative software...
Anti virus?
High bandwidth to keep patched?
Repeated consultant fees to clean up the inevitable infections/worms?
What about the as yet undiscovered "holes" that are being actively exploited already?
Locked into an upgrade next week, next year, when MS decides?
Do they have to upgrade their Office Suite every year?
Will they have to pay for the cost of translating documents to a more open format later on?
In fact, what happens if they find a need to drop spending suddenly due to 
a dire need in their core work area.... opportunities to save on IT would be lost completely wouldn;t they? (Everyone leaves out the COST OF CHANGE in IT but it is a very pertinent point to be made!)
How will they handle the new SP2, touted as almost needing specialised training, more cost to the recipients?

These are community groups don't forget, their core business is not and should never be something which equates to being a Windows "Guru".

In short, this was not a donation. 
It was an "incentive" to prevent disloyalty.
More's the worry was the political edge and suspect timing around an election....

On the other hand, I watched Rusty leverage the FOSS communities popularity at Linux Conf and he raised an astounding amount of money from a group proportedly hawking "rubbish" (quote from Bill in today's IT section of the afr).

The latter act was way more philanthropic, totally apolitical, and a sense of 
well being from giving something back was the motive.

What really needs to be done is to market the truth and forget the head banging.

You could get an article in the press that pushes the "bad" parts about the recent MS donation, rave about the political connotations and generally have a field day.....but that would be counter productive.

Why not wait until the next Linux conference and carry out the same Auction, with preorganised recipients of proceeds, promote it, twist the arms of the big boys before the event....then promote it after the event...

Promote the positives. Don't use statements like mine (above) about the "True" costs.

Instead, highlight the "freedom", highlight the fact that they don't need AV.
Speak about the stability and how the charity/community group is now free to do their thing instead of fight the traffic into their unpaid job after hearing on the radio that the latest Outlook virus is about to destroy their
hard work...... 

And to handle the political aspects? Why not just ask a question:
How come a relatively poor province of Spain has more computers per student than us, one of the most prosperous economies on the planet?


Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> wrote ..
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2004 at 01:05:53PM +1000, Pia Smith wrote:
> > Dear linux-aus,
> > 
> > Pia Smith wants you to know about this story on http://smh.com.au. 
> > 
> > Personal Message:
> > We _really_ need to get organised. We should be organising these kinds
> of initiatives. We should be supporting computerbank more as we are losing
> this battle. What good will 100 microsoft driven community centres do,
> when they get caught in the loop, and start spending community money sustaining
> the microsoft environment? We could always offer the gov an alt way to
> spend the generous donation ;)
> Democrats respond:
> http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/business/0,39023166,39151789,00.htm
> ...
> But Greig today characterised the Microsoft's community welfare 
> contributions as tainted charity.
> According to Greig, the software tycoon's global philanthropy exercises
> carry a hidden agenda to persuade beneficiary governments to reverse 
> policies promoting the use of open source software.
> -- 
> _____________________________________________________________________________
> Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia
> Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company
> Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477
> _______________________________________________
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