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Re: [ossig] Microsoft Pumps $1 Bln Into UN Computer Aid ?

> Perhaps our friends at APDIP/UNDP could comment on how that will
> 'integrate' with open source initiatives like IOSN?

Geez, Imran. Thanks. Let me get back to you on that after I finish my 
job search :)

Joking aside, UNESCO has also just recently announced a plan to 
strengthen the partnership with MS. It is short on details. UNESCO's 
Free Software Portal (in cooperation with the FSF) is the only other UN 
free/open source software initiative I know of at this time. 

Conspiracy theorists will of course read deeply into this move. Likewise 
with Microsoft's signing of an initiative with UNDP Afghanistan in 
August 2003, right after a much-publicized Linux training initiative 
was conducted there in July 2003. 

Then again, various agencies of the UN have been working with Microsoft 
for some time. The UNDP has projects ongoing with the Bill & Melinda 
Gates Foundation, including here in Malaysia. The UNDP also partners 
with many other corporations. 

The UNDP, as far as I know, is neutral in the proprietary vs free/open 
source software issue, encouraging usage of the best tools for the best 
results. It is more concerned with development (of countries) than 
taking sides.

Disclaimer: My views are my own and do not necessarily represent the 
views of my employer. 
Kenneth Wong
IOSN Programme Consultant, UNDP-APDIP, Malaysia
DID: +603 2091 5169 Fax: +603 2093 9740
International Open Source Network: http://www.iosn.net
UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme: 

On Thursday 29 January 2004 16:18, Imran William Smith wrote:

> How will UN ensure that "centers are free to expand with other
> software, including open source software such as Linux"?
> I'm concerned this another example of MS throwing cash at another
> high profile attempt to evaluate and promote open source (UN is
> pretty high profile these days!). Microsoft has a lot of cash to
> throw, around US$52,000,000,000 at the last count,
> http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/quotes_reports.asp?symbol=MSFT&selected=MSF
>T&page=stockreports .
> Interesting, from that page, that their last quarter sales was US$8.2
> billion, but the cost of goods sold was US$1.5 billion.  Is that good
> value for the customer?  What's the US$2 billion on 'selling and
> admin expenses'?  Does that mean they spend more on advertising etc.
> than on product development?
> Thanks,
> Imran
> Nan Phin wrote:
> > U.S. software giant Microsoft said on Friday it would pump $1
> > billion of cash and software into a computer training program it
> > has set up with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
> >
> > "The scale of the program we have here is quite unusual in terms of
> > corporate giving. It's $1 billion over five years and that
> > represents both cash and software," Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
> > told journalists at the World Economic Forum.
> >
> > The United Nations will work with the Microsoft Unlimited Potential
> > program to invest in community centers in poor regions where people
> > can learn how to use personal computers and enhance their job
> > prospects.
> >
> > The announcement follows a pilot project in Afghanistan where the
> > two organizations set up centers at 16 locations, aiming to train
> > 12,000 users this year.
> >
> > UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown said the ambition was "to
> > hook up the world to the Internet."
> >
> > Microsoft would donate cash and the latest versions of its
> > software, but the centers were free to expand with other software,
> > including open source software such as Linux, Gates said.
> >
> > "They'll be adding software from other providers. There's no
> > exclusivity," he said. "Our role is to bring software that is quite
> > popular, and happens to be ours."
> >
> > Microsoft software is used to run more than 90 percent of the
> > world's PCs. Governments in several emerging countries, such as
> > Brazil and Thailand, have started to promote computers that run the
> > rival Linux operating system.
> >
> > Linux is an open source program that can be obtained for free or at
> > little cost.
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > best wishes.
> > /nan phin
> >
> > Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------
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