Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact
Microsoft's Cunning Offer 22 November 2001 Edition
Previous Edition

Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
Click To See
Microsoft's offer to settle a raft of private antitrust cases by providing around US$ 1 billion in computing resources to some of the USA's poorest schools is an interesting one.

The more charitable amongst us will look at the offer as a great way to improve the lot of the poor and underprivileged, while also satisfying the claims of those who believe the software giant has abused its dominant position.

Cynics however, might just have a different view.

Need Cutting-Edge Copy?
As NZ's longest-running online commentator, I'm looking for extra syndication opportunities for this daily publication -- or I'm happy to write casual or regular material specifically to order for print or Net-based publications. If you're interested, drop me a line

As we all know, once a piece of software has been developed, the costs of duplication and distribution are trivial -- especially since the demise of good quality printed manuals and documentation.

So, just how much will a billion dollars worth of software cost Microsoft?

The answer -- a whole lot less than a billion!

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • A real cynic... - David
  • Generous Microsoft?... - Peter
  • It's worse even than that... - Alan
  • Have Your Say

    In fact, it could be argued that it will only cost them the price of a few thousand CDROMs -- and they're worth far less than a dollar each in high volumes.

    I have no doubt that any quick-thinking Microsoft executive who might per chance to read this column will right now be saying to themselves -- "what about the cost of lost sales opportunities?"

    Indeed -- every time the company gives away a piece of software it has, in theory, just lost a potential sale. That could represent a significant amount of unrealised revenue -- right?

    Ah.. well, maybe not so much as you might think!

    After all, this donated software will be going to the poorest schools -- those which probably couldn't have afforded to by the stuff anyway. No lost sales opportunity there.

    Then there's the rate at which Open Source software seems to be infiltrating the education system.

    There's a growing trend all around the world which is creating a greater awareness and use of free software in place of Microsoft's offerings.

    In light of all this, it could be argued that Microsoft have boxed very clever with their seemingly generous offer.

    They get to present themselves as a hero instead of a villain -- at very little cost -- while simultaneously making it harder for Open Source software to find its way into the US education system.

    Perhaps now you can see why Microsoft is number one in its industry.

    I'm Not Ignoring You!
    If anyone has used the contact form to send me a message in the past week or so then I apologise for the fact that I didn't receive your message.

    Yes, a snafu on the configuration front combined with a shift to a new webserver has meant that the contact form script was dropping your messages into a black hole somewhere.

    The problem was fixed late last night so if you've responded to my free advertising offer -- please do so again and if you've sent in feedback -- sorry it was missed.

    Save The Aardvark Fund
    Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those who put their money where their mouse is :-)

    If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.

    Just drop by and hand over your loot.

    Free News Syndicated From 7amNews.com
    Add it to your own site


    Add Aardvark To Your Own Website!
    Got a moment? Want a little extra fresh content for your own website or page?

    Just add a couple of lines of JavaScript to your pages and you can get a free summary of Aardvark's daily commentary -- automatically updated each and every week-day.

    Aardvark also makes a summary of this daily column available via XML using the RSS format. More details can be found here.

    Contact me if you decide to use either of these feeds and have any problems.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    There are new Vacancies Last added 2 Oct In The Job Centre

    There are 14 Domain Names for sale

    Security Alerts
    Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

    New vulnerability exposes Excel and PowerPoint macros ZDNet - 29/10/2001)

    Microsoft tightens software security (CNet - 16/08/2001t)

    Code Red Worm A 'Runaway Success' (7amNews - 20/07/2001)

    Virus Alerts
    Finaldo worm on the crawl (ZDNet - 09/11/2001)

    Tripple-threat Worm Strikes (Aardvark - 19/09/2001)

    New worm spreading slowly (CNet - 4/09/2001)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AFR Tech
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    CNNfn Tech
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window No guarantees over JetStream fixes
    Telecom's chief technology officer Murray Milner says the Telecom newsletter "Dealer Informer" is suffering from imperfect wording when it claims Telecom has "no plans to change the JetStream service at this stage"...

    Open in New Window $192 million number portability savings
    Long-term number portability, which would enable telephone numbers to be transferred when customers change carriers, could offer social benefits worth up to $192 million...


    Open in New Window Flaw detected in Windows Media Player
    A buffer-overflow vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player software could let malicious attackers run code of their choice on a victim's system warns Microsoft...

    Open in New Window Cybercrime Treaty May Save Lives as Well as Money
    A European convention to be signed on Friday aims to unite countries in the fight against computer criminals, who have moved on from ``innocent'' hacking to fraud, embezzlement and life-threatening felonies...

    Open in New Window Red Hat Counters Microsoft's Education Offer
    Red Hat, never one to miss an opportunity for publicity, on Tuesday offered an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s proposed settlement of more than 100 private antitrust cases against it...
    Interactive Week

    Open in New Window Ads Stay Home for Holidays
    Rather than deplete their funds on costly ad campaigns, Net firms have begun using their own sites to drum up publicity...

    Open in New Window Vivendi Moves in for Killer App
    Subscriptions are passe. Instead, media companies are looking to pay for content the old-fashioned way -- with advertising...


    Open in New Window Green light for SMS spam
    MOBILE phone users will gain little relief from unwanted SMS commercials under a proposed industry code, consumer groups say...
    Australian IT

    Open in New Window Australia slips in OECD broadband rollout ranks
    Australia has slipped three rankings in a biannual scorecard of the rollout of broadband services in OECD countries...


    Open in New Window MS victim of humorous DNS non-hack
    t appears that someone has again associated at least fifty (probably more) domain names with microsoft.com, and given them humorous titles tending to disparage the mighty Redmond Leviathan...
    The Register

    Open in New Window Mozilla unveils latest browser beta
    Mozilla.org has released the latest beta-test version of Mozilla, the open-source browser suite on which AOL Time Warner's Netscape 6 is based...

    Open in New Window Firms risk fraud to keep customers
    Internet retailers are reluctant to implement secure online payment systems to prevent fraud, for fear that they deter rather than encourage consumers, according to recent research....

    Open in New Window Finally! A way to block cell phone rings
    A Hong Kong company hopes to sell signal jamming technology, previously used by the military to thwart lethal missiles, to block annoying cell phone calls in places such as hospitals, places of worship and restaurants...

    Open in New Window Report: China Shuts Internet Bars
    Chinese authorities have shut down more than 17,000 Internet bars for failing to block Web sites considered subversive or pornographic, a state-run newspaper reported...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark
    Try the Aardvark News Search page or look here.co.nz

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

    jet engine page