"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
"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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