Reports are coming in from our cousins in Australia that Microsoft has extended its software licence crusade to include kids' charities.
South Australian charity PCs for Kids - which hands out second-hand PCs to poor and disadvantaged people - has apparently been receiving calls from MS' lawyers insisting that they cough up the Au$200 Microsoft per-PC tax aka software licence.
PCs for Kids is the smallest of a number of charities in Australia that hand out old computers to those that can't afford them in the hope of bridging a poverty and skills divide. However while most of the charities use open-source software like Linux to avoid the licence agreements, PCs for Kids has been providing PCs with Windows.
Which of course means that it is fair game and should be hounded for every penny that these evil subversive elements owe.
In fact, the Australians - ever the pragmatic race - have been turning away from Microsoft because of its controlling efforts and without making much of a fuss. Universities have started loading up Apache, Linux, Samba etc and even government departments have started to think twice about the easy but expensive option.
Just this week, top IT news site down under It.mycareer reported that the Labor government in opposition promised it would encourage the use of open-source software if it came into power because it increases innovation and cut costs.
Needless to say, the World's Greatest Luddite Senator ™ Richard Alston - the man behind a tranche of unbelievable Internet legislation in the last few months - has condemned the idea. Apparently it would leave a government open to litigation because the government has signed "binding legal contracts" with software suppliers. ®