Microsoft boosts software supply to Indian charities

Monsters and, UK(
August 28,2007

So often bracketed as the corporate bad guy, intent on scant little else than cornering tech markets through uncompromising profiteering, Microsoft Corporation has this week announced that it’s to distribute free software to a host of non-profit organisations throughout India.

A Microsoft official revealed yesterday that the Redmond-based titan will introduce its free software via India’s NASSCOM Foundation and its new technology assistance program "BiG Tech". The program is to be offered in conjunction with San Francisco-based TechSoup, an outfit that often works alongside the likes of major tech and software providers such as Microsoft Corp, Cisco Systems, and Symantec in delivering charitable donations.

NASSCOM’s BiG Tech, which officially launched on August 27, will exist as a Web-based initiative that allows non-profit organisations to apply for the free receipt of software downloads, reports the Associated Press. NASSCOM itself will reportedly charge the estimated 35,000 eligible non-profit applicants a fee of up to four percent to benefit from the software donations.

Existing as a sizeable gesture of good will and also an efficient way for Microsoft to elevate it positioning within the Indian market, Neelam Dhawan, managing director at Microsoft India, offered that the company’s charitable drive "is going to make a big impact" in the region.

TechSoup, which partners and distributes across some 25 different tech assistance charity programs for countries outside of the US, is aiming to deliver some $55 million USD’s worth of globally received free software before the end of its fiscal 2008.