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osOpinion: The New Microsoft Tax

Nov 03, 2000, 08:21 (38 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Howard Quach, James Howard)

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"On Wednesday, November 1, the University of Maryland Diamondback reported on a proposal to charge a $20 per semester fee to all students in exchange for Microsoft products being given free to all students at the University. On the surface, this may seem an enticing deal, but soon the "Microsoft tax" looks very sketchy."

"There are several thousand students on campus who either do not own computers, or who do not own computers powerful enough to take advantage of the software being provided. However, these students will still be required to pay the $20 per semester fee, regardless of the fact they have no need for the product."

"Additionally, many students on campus choose not to use Microsoft software. They may be Apple Macintosh or Unix users. For Macintosh users, paying for Microsoft Windows is silly since it will not run on a Macintosh. For Unix users, paying for Microsoft Word is equally silly since Word will not run on these computers. Still others simply choose Corel WordPerfect over Word, or Qualcomm Eudora over Microsoft Outlook. However, these students will still be required to pay the $20 per semester fee, despite the fact they chose not to use the software."

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