Will the Philippines get its $3 MS pack?

A story ran by the BBC News reports that Microsoft will be offering an unbelievable low price of $3 for a Microsoft pack to developing countries:

The Microsoft initiative was launched by Bill Gates in Beijing under the banner of its Unlimited Potential scheme, a program aimed at bridging the digital divide.

The scheme aims to bring the benefit of computing technology to the remaining five sixths of the world’s population, who currently live without it.

“Bringing the benefits of technology to the next five billion people will require new products that meet the needs of underserved communities,” said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. One of the first products, that is hoped will reach the next billion people is the Microsoft’s student Innovation Suite.

The package includes Windows XP Starter Edition, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, as well as other educational software.

The $3 package will start to be sold to governments in the second half of 2007.

I believe that this smart business move is more targeted to countries that have high piracy rate in Asia and Eastern Europe. In the Philippines, I think the piracy rate is still around 90%. Will we get our share of the $3 MS goodies?

Update (04/22/07): Inquirer.net reports the Philippines is getting ’em at $3 a pop.

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  • I think we will but then again with those stupid corrupt politicians and “business-minded people” we might still have to buy that at $100-$200 each. šŸ™ I do hope I’m just a cynic who knows nothing better lol

  • I will be willing to pay for a little more expensive software ($3 vs nothing) for legality, unless the features of those student and starter editions are not good enough. I believe that will also be what others are thinking.

  • It would have been better if only our government supported FOSS. with that law passed, even spending $3 is irrelevant. In fact, with the social and nature status of the inhabitants of the Philippines, citizens would have a better inclination to free than spending. Linux, even more technological than windows, at the same time this opensource alternative is free with a long time support from different diversities. Why pay when we have an alternative?

  • I wonder if this would really make all that much of an impact here. I honestly think this is Bill Gates’s desperate attempt to recapture the lost Asian market, who can currently buy cracked software for Php80 or less! Personally, I’m a piracy advocate for the simple reason that it keeps the flow of money within the country, rather than sapping the nation. Only buy original LOCAL PRODUCTS! LONG LIVE SOFTWARE PIRACY!

  • If and when this hits the market, I’m probably buying a couple of copies.

  • “The product, however, will not be available commercially. Rather, it will be sold directly to government intended for projects aimed at providing PCs to schools for student use.”

    Not for end-users, then? So how good is this move in combating piracy, when it’s the end-users who usually cannot afford legal copies of Windows and Office, and resort to buying pirated copies?

  • Microsoft is trying to do a One Laptop Per Child.

    I think they want the commercial end-users to buy licenses anyway – like through the $150 legalization program.

    The $3 is for the students who have no means of purchasing at all.

  • FOSS, nuff said

  • Migs, good point. But what about students who are end-users? Say a university student (iskolar ng bayan, if you may) who can’t afford to spend PhP5k for WinXP home or PhP 10k for a copy of office. I guess with the arrangement as it is, they’re not entitled to the $3 Windows+Office bundle. I mean even if it were severely crippled compared to the full versions, I’ll go for a legal copy if it’s that cheap.

    I guess I’ll stick to OS X then. At least Steve Jobs isn’t coming after me for installing a “borrowed” copy on my old/resurrected powerbook. Heh.

  • let’s see how monkey businessmen and corrupt government officials will turn this into business. If only Microsoft is imposing low prices on its products, more people would be more willing to purchase them. Or maybe, this is just another desperate move for Microsoft in battling the increasing awareness on open source softwares.

  • This is at least a step in the right direction. Microsoft needs to do much more study into the socio-economic situations of the countries it want to target with third world pricing and adjust it accordingly.

    For a university student, I would say $40 is a reasonable price for a windows XP “student version”

  • Still more expensive compared to the pirated Vista Ultimate+Office 2007 or XP Pro+Office 2003.

    The others have a good point if it won’t be commercially available. I think this is about MS losing to open source alternatives in the education sector.

  • Cesar

    They should have done that before they release Vista. Ubuntu is catching up to Windows