Microsoft to Distribute Free Software in India

Microsoft Corp., maker of the popular Windows line of operating systems, announced today that it will distribute free software to nonprofit groups to boost charity in India. The software donation will be routed through a technology assistance program that India's NASSCOM Foundation is offering in partnership with TechSoup, a San Francisco-based group that partners in charity work with companies like Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Symantec. NASSCOM Foundation, the philanthropy arm of the trade body of technology companies operating in India, introduced the program Monday - titled BiG Tech.

BiG Tech is a Web-based program that allows nonprofits to apply for free software online. The foundation will charge a fee of up to 4 percent to the nonprofit groups. Nearly 35,000 nonprofit groups in India will be eligible for such software donations. MS sees BiG Tech as another opportunity to push its India strategy that has often tied business moves with philanthropy. "We think it is going to make a big impact in India," said Neelam Dhawan, managing director at Microsoft India. The software maker is a major donor for TechSoup, which runs or partners similar technology assistance programs across 25 countries outside the United States.

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the case in china was different. to curb piracy ms offered vista at some usd66. in india the software is being offered gratis only to charity organisations, and NOT the public.

David3k said,
Are you endorsing Piracy on Neowin?
I am pretty sure he is just referring to how Microsoft offers discounts as low as one dollar for governments to buy a license for their pirated copies.

Yep very honorable of MS but i think this is just to try to get INDIA to vote in favour for OOXML the next time!

I do like Bill Gates

But i will never trust Microsoft as a company!

XSLord said,
Yep very honorable of MS but i think this is just to try to get INDIA to vote in favour for OOXML the next time!

There are several reasons for it, one of them being the rapid growth of Linux. Another being the rampant piracy in Asian countries. At least this way Microsoft can say they condone it and don't look like they are unable to stop it. In the long run, it expands Microsoft's marketshare, so that they don't really have much to lose from it except a few hundred million $$$.

If you think a few hundred million $$$ is a big deal, you should see how much MS spends on advertizing.

Surely you don't think that the pinnacle of technology in India is an ox-drawn cart? They have these things called cities and computers, you know.