Friday, November 16, 2007

2007 Federal Election Commentary - Microsoft Laughing all the way to the Bank

In the last days of the Federal Election Campaign of 2007, the Australian Labor Party pledged funding for a computer for every senior secondary student. This makes Microsoft very happy. When negotiating software licenses for schools in the past, Microsoft proposed a volume license for schools, typically though their collective organisations based on the total number of computers that a school had, regardless of their operating system, or how thy were being used. This was, of course, provided at a lower rate under and Educational Licencing schemes. Much of this is hearsay from people I know within the education sector, but it includes Universities as well, and it paints a picture of a situation where Microsoft are indeed collecting a tax from the Australia people and our government is allowing them to do it. Let me ask a couple of questions: - (Reward for effort) What additional effort does Microsoft have to make to receive this revenue? - (A fair go) What risk have they taken in the past that justifies then receiving this reward? - (Taking it to the bank) What is the guarantee on this revenue? This revenue can only be called a tax. It's not 'a fee for a service' or 'purchase price'. It is a compulsory payment that is being made by the Government, through the public schools, and Australians through private schools on our behalf to an oversees entitly. ... and the amount money is not insignificant. In summary: A vote for Rudd is a vote for Microsoft, and a vote for Howard is a vote for the Government that allowed this situation to happen, and also a vote for Microsoft.