----- Forwarded message from Ajit Ranade <akr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> -----
From: Ajit Ranade <akr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Fsf-friends] Gates gives $100m to fight HIV, $421m to fight Linux
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 09:01:05 +0530 (IST)
FROM THE REGISTER
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 13/11/2002 at 04:22 GMT
We do hate to rain on a high-profile corporate love-fest, but we have to
point out that in addition to the much trumpeted $100 million Billg has
donated to India's fight against HIV, he's funding the Microsoft jihad
against Linux to the far more impressive tune of $421 million.
Billg's personal $100 million goes to health initiatives over ten years,
while $421 million of Microsoft's money goes, over a mere three years,
to support MS-friendly development and 'educational' initiatives. And
being a monster MS shareholder himself, a 'Big Win' in India will enrich
him personally, perhaps well in excess of the $100 million he's donating
to the AIDS problem. Makes you wonder who the real beneficiary of
charity is here.
Oh, and let's not forget the five, count 'em, five, vanity puff-pieces
appearing in the New York Times this week glorifying Billg's generosity,
one of which he wrote himself. That's worth quite a lot too, in PR
brownie points for both him and his company. It's far better than free
advertising; it actually looks like news and therefore has immensely
more persuasive value.
Interestingly, the NYT neglected to mention the gargantuan MS marketing
tie-in and obvious bribe against, and obstacle to, Linux adoption in
India. Certainly they've been falling all over Gates in their eagerness
to give him ink, so we're at a terrible loss to explain why they could
find no place, among those thousands of words, to plug in a brief
mention of the $421 million in anti-Linux ammo he's delivering.
Readers see greene-eyed monster
Now for some reader feedback. Admittedly, criticizing a man who's giving
a vast sum of money to needy people has its pitfalls, though since
Biblical days the hypocrisy of rich men conspicuously giving away what
they can't use has been a constant, exemplary theme, often treated with
acidic and sarcastic language.
Nevertheless our notoriously sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued readers have
detected both bitterness and envy in my recent article criticizing
Billg's pledge of $100 million to fight the spread of HIV in India, and
the media blitz which the New York Times so graciously provided him.
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