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Microsoft's motives

NO PRIZES for guessing what Microsoft plans to do regarding the PCs in its custody that contain illegal software. As per the MoU signed with the four dealers, Microsoft would install legal software and donate them to an educational or charitable institution.

This is seen as typical of Microsoft by those who see more business than philanthropy in the aid given by the $42bn Microsoft and the $24bn Gates & Melinda foundation to the Governments of India and Kerala.

"Microsoft's donations to the State's e-governance and education projects are to ensure that the company's software enjoys a monopoly," says Sooraj, a Linux user. "These could lead to a proprietary lock-in, making dependence on Microsoft total," he avers.

Bill Gates, who is on the board of ICOS, a company specialising in therapeutics, and an investor in a number of biotechnology companies, has promised $100 million to combat AIDS in India. This is much more than the aid given to Africa where the disease has reached epidemic proportions.

P.K.U.

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