Microsoft readies $3 pack for developing nations

People in developing nations who make $50 a month typically don't save up to purchase a $200 copy of Windows. To counteract that, Microsoft has decided to take steps in order to hook more students in developing nations on sweet, sweet proprietary software—even if it means stooping to the same prices as software pirates and counterfeiters. Ars Technica has word that MS will start selling a software pack containing Windows XP Starter Edition, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Math 3.0, Learning Essentials 2.0 for Microsoft Office, and Windows Live Mail desktop for an average of $3. The catch? Microsoft's offer will only be available to qualifying governments that purchase and provide PCs to students directly.

Still, considering Office Home and Student 2007 alone costs $128.99 on Newegg, the $3 price is quite a discount indeed. Microsoft chairman and part-time philanthropist Bill Gates insists that "all human beings deserve a chance to achieve their full potential." He adds, "Bringing the benefits of technology to the next 5 billion people will require new products that meet the needs of under-served communities; creative, new business approaches that make technology more relevant, accessible and affordable; and close collaboration between local governments, educational institutions and community organizations."

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