I have to admit that I found the irony stifling in this CNET article on Bill Gates and his efforts to bring compassion for the poor to capitalism. Gates, who for years resisted pricing Microsoft's software lower for developing markets has suddenly become a big believer in helping the poor.In every industry, Gates said, businesses need to start thinking about how they can use some of their energy and resources, say 6 percent, to expand their reach to poorer segments either in their own country, or globally. Food companies need to focus on micronutrients, while drug companies should devote some energy to diseases that affect largely the poor, such as malaria and tuberculosis.
But not in software, apparently. It wasn't until 2004 that Microsoft - more in response to the need to fight Linux and piracy than any increase in the size of its heart - started to lower its pricing for markets like Indonesia. Until that point Microsoft continued to price its software above the annual wages of people in these developing markets.… Read more