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Microsoft Donates Windows 8.1 To Nonprofit Organizations 224

An anonymous reader writes in with good news for Windows loving nonprofits and libraries. "Microsoft today announced the availability of Windows 8.1 for nonprofits. The move is an extension of the company's nod to the nonprofit community with the launch Windows 8. The announcement means eligible nonprofit organizations and public libraries can request Windows 8.1 through Microsoft's software donation program."
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Microsoft Donates Windows 8.1 To Nonprofit Organizations

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:08PM (#45352589)

    Now those non-profits will not have to look towards free alternatives such as Linux! True humanitarians.

    • by supremebob ( 574732 ) <> on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:10PM (#45352601) Journal

      They should throw in some "free" Surface RT tablets while they are at it. It seems that they have a few thousand of them to spare...

      • by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:10AM (#45352947) Journal

        I am sure you just can't wait for the Windows 8.1 update! Just imagine how happy we'll all be! After all the outrage and frustration over Windows 8 losing it's "start" menu, Windows 8.1 is here to save the day! Now, that old start menu that used to do something useless... listing all of your applications so you could find them... has been replaced! Now it takes you directly to the Metro UI, where you can barf all over your keyboard! Happy day!

    • I vaguely recall an instance where protesters or activists were arrested by police over trumped up charges of pirating Windows. I can't find anything on google, or recall any more details like whether it was in Russia or here, so take that as you will.
    • So the often out-of-date workstations that fill libraries can now be overloaded with Windows 8. The librarians can spend hours training the public to use Windows 8 instead of helping them find books and information. Notice MS Office isn't included.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The real goal is "we want more people to choose to accept windows 8.x than would rather accept herpes"

  • I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:24PM (#45352675)

    will the FSF be signing up for this?

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      They should. and claim they have well over 10 million employees. Then start a part of their website where you can ask to be an employee to get a free install of 8.1

      Suddenly the value of windows drops to the floor as you will have people flocking to become "employees" of the corporation and getting free install keys.

    • Wouldn't it be fun to see Stallman swap his MIPS netbook for a MS Surface?
    • Well, it might be useful to review and assess the competition.

      -- hendrik

  • by sarkeizen ( 106737 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:24PM (#45352683) Journal
    ...rattlesnake ranchers donate dozens of specimens to local playgrounds.
  • I wouldn't use it if it was free. Windows 8.x is the most horrible operating system I have ever experienced. I can't think of a worse OS. If this doesn't end the Windows OS I don't know what will. It was so frustrating I returned the laptop. The replacement system will be a Mac and not because it was my first choice. It will be a Mac because Windows 8.x is unusable.

    • by smash ( 1351 )
      Whilst I am a mac owner (posting this from my macbook), clearly you haven't used Windows 95, Windows ME or DOS.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:52AM (#45353173)

        I've used every single version of Microsoft OS since DOS 3.2 and Win 8.x is by far the worst of them all. I'd *much* rather run Vista, it's that bad. Vista was immature before SP1 and the drivers weren't ready at RTM but now it's not quite as bad. WinME was mostly pointless and short lived. Win95 was a huge leap forward from MS-DOS and Win 3.x. DOS probably wasn't the absolute best for its time but it was cheap, common, good enough, and mainly far superior to what most people were using on 8 bit computers of the time.

        Win 8.x is user hostile. It was the worst GUI of *any* operating system I've ever used in the last 15 years, literally. I'd rather use the UI from any previous version of Windows, or OS X, or GNOME/KDE/Unity... Hell, I'd even rather use iOS or Android over that! Nothing is anywhere near as bad, un-intuitive, nor gets in your way as much.

        All this because they decided that they're now a "devices" company with Apple envy. Too bad nobody wants of those devices I guess. Meanwhile, they've given the finger repeatedly to their established user base: desktop users, businesses, sysadmins, developers and all. Of course people will turn to iOS and Android even more now. Win7 is the best OS by far IMO but that's where it seems end... I really enjoyed the last 25 years of MS products but MS put an abrupt end to it.

        • by smash ( 1351 )
          The UI may be user hostile, i'll grant you that, but I can live with that. at least it is stable and performance isn't bad. Windows 3.x was a bug-ridden pile of shit. Short 8.3 filenames. No native TCP/IP stack.
          • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @02:45AM (#45353611)

            funny, I think android is about as bad as win95 or 3.x.

            it sort of gets the job done, but its annoying and painful to try to work with.

            I would not be so annoyed if android was the product of a 10 or 50 man company. but the 'mighty google'? I would expect nothing less than perfection and vision from such self-professed geniuses.

            instead, there are stupid limitations and even cut/paste is annoying and difficult. want to grab an address from an email and locate it on a map? rarely works unless it fits an exact format of what an 'address' is supposed to be. more often than not, you can't click on addresses in email text. fuck! what a piece of shit.

            face it, its a vehicle for ad delivery. plain and simple; just enough to do that mission yet not free enough to do what YOU want unless you root and go around things. yes, apple is worse, but they don't solely exist just to delivery ads. google is ONLY about ads, these days. if you get in their way, they fuck with you and make your life harder than it should be.

            I remember old windows and how annoying it was compared to old vax/vmx, unix and other os's of the ancient era. android gives me the same 'damn, they could have made it great but they didn't' feeling.

            • by smash ( 1351 )
              I'd agree with that. I've been saying for a while now that Android is the MS-Windows of the mobile world. Run any code you want, install stuff from anywhere, rely on the end user for security enforcement. Unfortunately that has been proven time and time again to be a liability.
            • yes, apple is worse, but they don't solely exist just to delivery ads.

              Right, they exist solely to exploit fanboys' need to spend money, and to produce lock-in, and to abuse patents. Seriously, you can't even mention them in the same breath.

            • funny, I think android is about as bad as win95 or 3.x.

              it sort of gets the job done, but its annoying and painful to try to work with.

              I would not be so annoyed if android was the product of a 10 or 50 man company. but the 'mighty google'? I would expect nothing less than perfection and vision from such self-professed geniuses.


              I remember old windows and how annoying it was compared to old vax/vmx, unix and other os's of the ancient era. android gives me the same 'damn, they could have made it great but they didn't' feeling.

              You must not have tried Cyanogenmod. Prior to flashing my phone with CM10 (Android 4.3), I was running 2.3.4 on my phone, loaded with AT&T crapware. My battery lasted maybe one day. Constantly whining about updates to the AT&T bloatware, using data behind the scenes to provide updates I didn't sign up for and didn't care about from AT&T, some google apps, and other nonsense they decided to throw on there. All the crap behind the scenes made my phone slow and unresponsive.

              Since I loaded CM10 and

              • I have cm7 on my n1 phone. it was marginally better but still was android down to the core, and that's the problem.

                it was all about google and it still is. the thinking and planning was just not done well enough and the 'evolution' really shows it.

                it was a 'ship it, quick!' effort and again, it shows thru and thru, CM or not. google did a half-assed job and few people call them on it.

                again, for a small company, I'd be forgiving as hell and say 'good effort!'. but for the mighty google, I expect absolute

          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            I lived with 8.3 filenames for well over a decade (W95 had them if you ran Norton Desktop). No native TCP/IP stack didn't keep me off of bulletin boards or the internet. But a bad UI is a productivity killer.

            If given a choice between DOS 3.1 and Win8, I'll take DOS.

            • I never dealt with DOS 3.1 that much, because I always had access to real systems running Unix or VMS at work, so why deal with something so primitive at home? Even the competition was vastly better, both non-PC systems like Amiga or Atari ST or Macintosh, as well as other stuff for the PC like GEOS.

              • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

                I was dealing with far more primitive computers in the early eighties; TS-1000, TRS-80, Apple IIe as a programming hobbyist. Mid '80s I got a job that needed dealing with IBM PCs and XTs, bought a used XT about 1988. I was writing (and playing) games at home since about 1983. By 1990 I was writing databases in dBase and later on the mainframe in NOMAD at work. Didn't start using Linux until around 2002. At work they have me using (UGH!) Access now, glad I retire next year. Haven't done any real programming

    • It will be a Mac because Windows 8.x is unusable.

      Actually, the Intel-based Macs can run any version of Windows, either natively or virtually. The problem is, no Mac user wants to touch Windows 8.x with a 30 foot pole, either. Heck, even MacOS 1.0 was better than Windows 8.x by a mile!

    • or you can just install classicshell

    • The worst? Then obviously you have not used either GnomeIII or Unity...
    • I have recently switched from Mac to Windows 8.1 after living in the Mac world for 5-6 years (at home).

      The difference is like night and day. It might not be as "simple" but I can actually set up my computer exactly how I want it and make it adapt to my workflow and not the other way round. All the freeware utility software you take for granted on Windows just isn't available for Mac.

      And if I ever end up using a Mac again and the OS takes focus from what I'm doing and decides to activate another window (beca

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:40PM (#45352781)

    I can't even find a students version.

  • oh man (Score:2, Flamebait)

    I wonder if this will force Android/Linux to make their software free for non-profits as well... oh wait.

    • Android/Linux is only free if your time has no value. On the other hand, installing and running all the security updates, antivirus and malware utilities required to maintain Windows is a fulfilling and valuable business experience...
      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        I just had a Sheldon moment. I was going to rebut you until I realized you were being sarcastic.

  • by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) < minus punct> on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @11:45PM (#45352815)

    Now all they have to do is upgrade all of their other "free" Microsoft stuff to be compatible, assuming they fell for this BS before.

    TechSoup Global
    Through TechSoup Global, Microsoft donates software to tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations and nongovernmental organizations around the world. Get it? hint: soup kitchen []

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      You don't understand... This is for everyone!!!

      Even if you buy regular licenses for Windows, once you've gone through all the BSA audits, you won't have any profits, so the next time around, you get the non-profit version!!!!

  • by andrew3 ( 2250992 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:08AM (#45352937)

    Microsoft also gives free Windows licenses to students through various programs. But there is always a catch. In this case, Microsoft wants its users to adopt its own formats and use its network services, essentially pushing users into an endless cycle of relying on Microsoft software and services, allowing Microsoft to push for unreasonable terms, include more privacy-invasive features to gain more information about their users, increased OS reliance on Microsoft's network/cloud computing, and, of course, to make more money. Making money on its own, of course, is not usually a bad thing, but when a company like Microsoft controls a significant portion of the market it is certainly bad. I hear non-profits and governments are also often more likely to adopt free (-as in freedom) software such as LibreOffice and occasionally GNU/Linux, which could explain why they are a target of this campaign.

    Remember people: this isn't being done to benefit you, it's done to benefit Microsoft.

    • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @05:39AM (#45354325)

      Absolutely right. Over the last decade or so, much of Microsoft's sales & marketing hasn't actually been done by Microsoft at all.

      They haven't needed to.

      "We're starting to receive files in formats we can't open" does it for them.

      Historically, that resulted in Office upgrades; they're now using that leverage to push other upgrades (Office 2013 requires Windows 7 and Outlook 2013 requires Exchange 2007 or later). In the process, they're losing customers - Office 2013 starts to look like quite an expensive upgrade when you suddenly need to rip out your entire infrastructure

  • Story is a PR plant (Score:4, Informative)

    by Groo Wanderer ( 180806 ) <> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:16AM (#45352981) Homepage

    I work with a charity that has access to the MS discounts and there is one authorized outlet for it, Tech Soup. MS has ALWAYS made the latest version available so this is nothing new. It is just an astroturfing post to try and drum up some good PR for the embattled and truly miserable OS.

    That said why is MS so cruel to those in need?

  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @12:33AM (#45353073) Journal

    First they donate it to non-profits
    Then they donate it to schools
    Then to universities
    Then to the hospitals
    Then to the politicians
    Then to the developers ... ...
    Finally they donate to the existing Windows XP users.

    But nobody is interested; not even the pirates; since nobody wants to be infected with Windows 8.x.

  • Everyone is focusing on the obvious benefits of PR and trying to spread adoption and avoiding cheaper competitors gaining market share.

    But I suspect even if you completely removed these benefits the donations make a profit for MS.

    How? First subtract the revenue of the tiny handful of non-profits that would purchase Win8 on their own, then add the tax writeoffs they get from all the "donated" copies of Windows.

    Can any accountants chime in on whether they could save more on their taxes than it actually cost t

  • Microsoft Donates Windows 8.1 To Nonprofit Organizations
    Nonprofit Organizations say "No Thanks" and stab themselves in the eye instead. Film at 11.
  • Its been a long while since I haven't sneered at a story about MS. That just shows to go you, its not all bad.

    Good one Microsoft. People need all the help they can get, these days. Keep it up.

  • The announcement means eligible nonprofit organizations and public libraries can request Windows 8.1 through Microsoft's software donation program

    It was an attempt to stop public libraries from upgrading their Windows desktops.

  • I donated Windows Vista to the Heritage Foundation.

  • Free, huh? That's the right price.

    I was actually one of those hold-outs sticking with XP (rather, my bosses at work were, since it's their machine) until last year. Last year we got Win7 and I really am surprised at how much I like it.

    But Win 8 and brothers? No way. They'd have to pay me.

  • Well they will be now.
  • by AVryhof ( 142320 ) <amos AT vryhofresearch DOT com> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:19AM (#45354701) Homepage

    Having worked for a non-profit, all I can say is... that's nice but who donates hardware that Win8.1 can run on?

    As of 2009, the fastest computer at the org I was volunteering at was 1.2GHz with 512Mb of memory.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:43AM (#45355009) Homepage Journal

    The first one is always free.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:33AM (#45355349)

    Didn't they suffer enough already?

  • I understood that they donated Windows 8.1 (ownership) to a nonprofit organization...
  • In other words, do they get to print their own money?

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears