Microsoft Stops Charity From Distributing Computers

from the how-very-scrooge-like dept

Has Microsoft become even more obnoxious that usual recently? First they start driving poor schools towards bankruptcy, and then they prevent charities from giving away recycled computers to poor kids until they pay for new licenses for the software products installed on them. The computers in question were donated from corporations, so all their software is under a “site license” rather than individual licneses. Microsoft says that even though the software is obsolete and not supported any more, the charity needs to pay $600 per computer to obtain new licenses.

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Comments on “Microsoft Stops Charity From Distributing Computers”

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Ed says:


Like anybody who’s bought more than one new PC, at least one of which has had Microsoft software bundled on it, I am sitting on unused licenses for Microsoft products. (In my case, I think it’s only one copy of Windows95 and Works.) If there’s any charity out there that would like to take them, then it’s a win for everybody except Microsoft — the charity gets a legal license, I get to write off a buck or two on my taxes, and Microsoft can ponder how many millions of other perpetual licenses are floating around out there.

Something that occurs to me: it isn’t exactly compatible with current thinking about copyright law, but consider the fate of something universally regarded as obsolete, like Windows 3.1. As computers get replaced, millions of licenses have been abandoned. (And I’m not even considering any that have been applied toward an upgrade or fell under site license agreements.) If it’s universally acknowledged that a Win3.1 license is so worthless since so many have been thrown away, could it be argued somehow that Microsoft can no longer expect to reap any license fees for random Win3.1 copies unless it can somehow prove that the number still in use exceeds the number of abandoned licenses?

anon says:

Re: Apple does this too

Where does Apple do this?

Apple distribute older version of their Operating Systems for free, online.

you just go to the Apple website, and download it. Only the recent Operating Systems require a purchase.

Considering that every Mac is sold with an OS, your comment is absurd. Apple is not hassling anyone for license violations.

If you don’t believe me, just look on the Apple website – lots of free software and operating systems.

You can even get Darwin – a server OS designed for streaming media. This will run on PCs. It is Open Source, published uner the Apple Public Source License.

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