Microsoft is under fire on both sides of the Tasman from suppliers of refurbished PCs.
The software giant has slapped a copyright infringement notice on Victoria-based PCs for Kids for hard loading copies of Windows 3.11 or 95 and Word onto refurbished machines (see Microsoft hard on charity software).
A New Zealand equivalent, Auckland-based The Ark, says such a move forced it to close in 1997 and relaunch itself promoting the use of DOS-based shareware and freeware on its refurbished systems.
Ark managing director Bob Lye has been in touch with PCs for Kids and advises it to do the same.
He calls the Microsoft requirement that new licences be bought for refurbished PCs sold with its software “money-grubbing”.
Richard Darton, head of the Wellington-based PC Recycling Company, which is supplying PCs to schools on the East Cape, says it is unaffected by the issue as its licences have been paid for by the government.
PCs for Kids is giving “serious consideration” to the freeware/shareware option, saying it has received “unanimous support worldwide for training kids in Linux.”