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Microsoft The Almighty Buck The Internet Technology

Microsoft Starts Its Own Charity Organization: Microsoft Philanthropies ( 95

SmartAboutThings writes: Bill Gates is known as a big philanthropist, and now his own company will commit to even more charity work by launching a new organization, Microsoft Philanthropies. Microsoft's president and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith outlined the goals for the new organization, saying it will partner with nonprofit organizations to help expand technology projects to people who need it. He said, "Just as there is an extremely effective commercial ecosystem which brings the promise of technology to life in the marketplace, there must be a strong societal ecosystem that brings the promise of technology to life in the community space, especially where there is the greatest need." Mary Snapp, who joined Microsoft as its first female attorney in 1988, will lead Microsoft Philanthropies report directly to Smith.
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Microsoft Starts Its Own Charity Organization: Microsoft Philanthropies

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @11:35AM (#51129743)

    Just... wow

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @11:37AM (#51129761)

    Sure you do. We'll send you 3 million of them!

  • Ugh? Really? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is such a thinly-veiled attempt to get lock-in on even the poorest members of society that I want to throw up.

    Just die, Microsoft. Just roll over and die already.

    • Microsoft's Azure allows you to easily create VMs that run Windows or Linux (there are quite a few Linux distros you can choose from if you don't want to install your own). The price savings you get for running Linux over Windows is roughly the same that other cloud companies offer.

      Doesn't sound like lock-in to me.

    • Nobody says the work'll be done in the USA or Europe. It won't. This is an attempt to grow the next offshoring destinations, now that India is getting expensive.
  • by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @11:47AM (#51129851) Homepage Journal

    Pet charity projects throwing money haphazardly at random causes a few billionaires feel strongly about is an undemocratic disgrace. Had more of their largesse been taxed, we the people could've put it to better use dealing with our deficit, fixing our failing infrastructure, or even using it to help pay for ambitious new programs like universal basic income and single payer healthcare. Those ideas have the potential to totally end poverty. Pet charity projects like Gates' or Zuckerberg's hold no such potential.

    Instead of praising this, we should be asking ourselves what kind of society we want to live in [].

    From the article: "Who should fund our general societal needs and how? Charities rarely fund quotidian yet vital needs. What would $40 billion mean for job creation or infrastructure spending? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a budget of about $7 billion. Maybe more should go to that. Society, through its elected members, taxes its members. Then the elected officials decide what to do with sums of money."

    See also: public vs. private social expenditures as a percentage of GDP [].

    • Wow, what a bunch of leftist claptrap... So Government is now your vehicle of choice for delivery of charity? I hope not.

      Government is the absolute worst way to do charity (OK, Maybe the Clinton Foundation is but follow me..).. There are places where government makes sense but everybody needs to understand that Government is the absolute worst way to spend money because of the waste involved. Government simply cannot be efficient and effective at the same time, it's too big. Charity (welfare, health care fo

      • by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @12:16PM (#51130129) Homepage Journal

        Wow, what a bunch of leftist claptrap

        Last I checked, democracy was not a leftist idea. Concentrating disproportionate power in the hands of a few billionaires is undemocratic.

        Government is the absolute worst way to do charity

        And yet the governments with the strongest safety nets are the best at reducing poverty. Seems to me government is pretty good at it, when properly funded.

        • Oh please.. Money != power in our republic. Poor people get as many votes per person as the rich.

          Is your goal reducing poverty or raising the standard of living? Think carefully. Because taking money from the "rich" and giving it to the "poor" may provide an immediate reduction in poverty, but it lowers everyone's standard of living. But taking from the rich only goes so far, so we as a country are going into debt to provide welfare, healthcare and anti-poverty campaigns. Big time debt. But don't wor

          • by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:17PM (#51130687) Homepage Journal

            Oh please.. Money != power in our republic. Poor people get as many votes per person as the rich.

            That is not the case []. Numerous studies have shown that money buys power in this country.

            taking money from the "rich" and giving it to the "poor" may provide an immediate reduction in poverty, but it lowers everyone's standard of living.

            I am fine with lowering the standard of living of the wealthiest x% people in this country to provide a humane minimum standard of living for everyone else. (Where x is defined as roughly a very low single digit percentage give or take one or two percent.)

            Today we have millions living in abject poverty while the wealthiest are wealthier than ever. The country can survive taking from the top just enough to end poverty.

            But taking from the rich only goes so far, so we as a country are going into debt to provide welfare, healthcare and anti-poverty campaigns.

            Back when taxes were higher, we didn't have a debt problem like we do today. One man's "government spends too much!" is another man's "maybe we should increase government's income so it can pay its bills."

            The CBO says that repealing the ACA (Obamacare) would actually lower the deficit, raise employment, cut taxes and actually end up putting more on health insurance roles, which is EXACTLY what the right was saying when this got rammed though congress...

            First of all, the right came up with the idea. The left wanted single payer, and continues to argue in favor of it on the grounds that it would be less expensive in the long run than the current public/private mess we have today.

            Second, that CBO analysis you're referring to is a lot more complicated than you're making it sound. You might want to read about it in more detail. Depending on how you interpret the data, some analysts say repeal would lower the deficits, others say it would add to the deficit dramatically [].

            Conservatives are driven by what's best in the long term and what's going to do the most good for people.

            That doesn't seem like a very well supported statement to me. Conservatives oppose policies that would end poverty on the grounds that it's morally wrong to take from rich people. That's by definition elitist, not "what's good for most people."

            Your classic teach a man to fish rather than give a man a fish analogy is a perfect illustration of that. You see other men as only deserving of fish if they're capable of fishing for them themselves. If you see it is morally acceptable to deny a man a fish who is unable or unwilling to fish it up himself, then your ideology is not "what's going to do the most good for people" because it's predicated on unnecessary starvation of those you deem unworthy of eating.

            The ideology that will "do the most good for people" is the one that doesn't impose conditions on the basic needs of others. Imposing conditions kills people. Personally, I'm not a fan of social darwinism.

          • I don't think these words mean what you think they mean...

            You're right, Obamacare suffers from working through a for-profit insurance system and for-profit healthcare system and it'd be a lot more efficient to go wholly singlepayer or better yet, nationalize the whole shebang.

            As for deficits, it's meaningless to think of them unless you're thinking of them in the context of GDP. The track record for Eurozone countries trying to impose austerity has told us what happens: when you attack the structural implem

            • Nice smoke screen dude.

              I fully understand the place of government debt and how it's related to the GDP. The risk associated with the debt has a direct relationship to the percentage of GDP it consumes. However, you miss the issue if you hide yourself behind this. The debt will need to be paid, somehow, and eventually the *value* of the goods and services we purchased with this money we borrowed will need to be repaid.

              Also, don't try to point to Greece and claim that what happened there will happen here

              • However, the BIGGEST problem I have with your views is your thinking it's a good idea to take from the rich and give to the poor, that it's somehow the only morally acceptable course of action. Taking taxes is a necessary evil, but make no mistake it's EVIL and as such should be avoided as much as possible. [...] So, I don't believe it's a good idea to trample property rights with confiscatory tax policy necessary to support our current spending levels and debt.

                Suppose the following two moral principles:


                • Then you are a socialist at heart and are in the wrong country. There MUST be limits to what the government can take by force of law from everybody. Personal property MUST be allowed or the unalienable rights our forefathers fought the British for are invalid.

                  I get your fairness argument, and it has emotional appeal, but if you allow it to rule the day, this country becomes something other than the place where your rights are protected, where you can work hard, make money and own more stuff. You are runnin

                  • So how much of the rich's resources are you prepared to take? Have you ANY limits?

                    The bare minimum necessary to ensure a humane lifestyle floor for all citizens. Once everyone has food, shelter, and healthcare, we can let capitalism run as rampant as we want beyond that.

                    • So how much of the rich's resources are you prepared to take? Have you ANY limits?

                      The bare minimum necessary to ensure a humane lifestyle floor for all citizens. Once everyone has food, shelter, and healthcare, we can let capitalism run as rampant as we want beyond that.

                      So you really have no limits then. You are a communist at heart.

                      A wise teacher once said "The poor you will always have with you." So you will never succeed in eliminating all the poor. If we attempt to make everybody comfortable at taxpayers expense it doesn't matter how much you take and borrow, you will need more than there is and will take it all.

                    • Of course there is a limit. It would not take much of the nation's wealth to provide for everyone's basic needs and nothing beyond that. It's not like I'm talking about socialism for BMWs here. Get real.

                    • You think you have limits? I don't think you do.

                      There are countries in this world which do NOT have the resources to do what you want for their people, what makes you think the USA will always have enough or that we could hope to even do it now?

                      Go take a look at the falling labor participation rate in this country, consider the demographics we face and then tell me we have the resources to do what you want to do over the next 20 years. Take a look at the example of Greece and Argentina, even Venezuela pro

                    • Man, what an emotional rant filled with fear. I strongly encourage you to take a step back and calm down. Breathe. It'll be okay!

                      Look, the facts are this: our country is wealthier than it's ever been in history. It may be hard to notice though, because the richest 1% have harvested the majority of that wealth. If we divided up the nation's wealth equally among all citizens (which you don't seem to realize I'm not advocating for BTW), more people would get a bigger slice than if we had done that in any time

                    • I'm not buying it.

                      Pay a bit more attention to the arguments I'm using here. The ones based on private property ownership, freedom, and such. I know you don't think I'm right, but at least try and understand why I think what I do so you can address my concerns with meaningful, thoughtful discussion that might actually communicate why your position isn't logically what I say.

                      We have 18 Trillion in debt last time I looked. It worked out to about $58K per citizen (working or not) on the PRINCIPLE alone. Pl

                    • how much personal property can the government really take to support your ideas about outcome equality, still remains unanswered

                      I already answered that question: the bare minimum necessary to provide a lifestyle floor that ensures everyone's basic needs are met; food and shelter at least, but personally I'd throw in healthcare as well. Nothing beyond that.

                      I'm not sure why you don't think that's a specific enough answer. If you want to know what that costs specifically, go look up tax proposals that replace

                    • One last time... Stop with the economic fairness arguments. To me, all they mean is you are a socialist and want a communistic country which has no limits on wealth transfer because as long as you can find ONE person who is living below your subjective standard and one who is above it is your policy to take from the richer and give to the poorer. You talk in generality, your ideas are subjective as are your limits. We need OBJECTIVE well defined limits, or there are none.

                      This idea of yours is the FOUNDA

                    • A right to the basic needs of food, shelter, and healthcare is not subjective or vague. That's about as specific as you can get. It means at a minimum all people have a right to just enough food to not starve to death. A right to at least dorm room-sized shelter. A right to see doctors for preventative care or go to the hospital without having to worry about medical bankruptcy.

                      Those things are narrowly tailored and well-defined. It's not reasonable to call those things vague or to imply that it's some crazy

                    • Seriously, you are a socialist then and in the wrong country.

                      You know that Communist Russia had as one of it's founding principles EXACTLY what you say. You see, if I have a right to basic needs, the government is now required to provide my rights, and in your view, this is accomplished by taking property from one group of citizens and giving to another.

                      But you won't answer that charge, nor will you see that your "basic needs" is really open ended and subjective and limitless. Healthcare is not a right,

          • The CBO says that repealing the ACA (Obamacare) would actually lower the deficit, raise employment, cut taxes and actually end up putting more on health insurance roles

            The US healthcare system is the most expensive healthcare system in the world and yet it's not the best. Many countries including neighbors such as Canada have universal health care so why can't this happen in the US?

            • by ksheff ( 2406 )
              Too much cronyism involved not to mention our government will find new and innovative ways to fuck it up while spending even more money than before.
              • The US is in a pickle when it comes to Healthcare because taking away the candy is much harder than giving it. For a system change to occur you need to reverse everything in place and that's not easy. Smart people have come up and proved with numbers that the current system could be made to cost much less. When you give control to individuals motivated by profit you generally cause the cost to go up or the service to go down.

        • Yes, you're right...democracy is an idea that is anathema to leftists. Freedom of speech and voting allow non-leftists to gain power and do not result in positive outcomes. Much more important is freedom of justice, where hate speech is banned and elections always come out the correct way.
          • While that stereotype does apply to some on the left, I'm personally opposed to enforcing my ideas undemocratically. If the majority of us decide in an election that we prefer less safety net, I can live with that, as I have in the past when we've passed austerity measures. It's my duty to convince my fellow Americans that more safety net is a good idea, not to ram it down the nation's throat by force.

    • Private charities can look at the needs and allocate their resources accordingly. Government can't do that, it's going to be a political fight over pork barrel spending. Moreover, we the people should be able to goddamn well decide where we want to spend our own goddamned money without any goddamn government telling us it would be a better idea to give our money to them instead. In a culture of confiscation like you advocate, people like Gates and Zuckerberg would have never founded their companies in th

      • Read the articles I linked to.

        Private charities fund the pet issues of their rich benefactors.

        They don't fund the vital needs of society.

        Using the democratic process to decide how to spend the money produces better results.

      • Although I agree with you there's a point where too much wealth is exactly that, TOO MUCH.

        Before government were born, unfortunate people were helped by local communities and their families. Although this system was ideal at weeding out the abusers, it was also unable to provide the wide range of services required and I'm sure at time was unfair. Fast forward 100 years and you now have a population that is far more independent. The flip side is fraud and abuse of the system. As a member of society all I ask

    • while I do question some of these charity organisations where they would do better if they actually targeted an existing charity with their money. you are completely and utterly DELUSIONAL if you think the government would be a more effective means of distributing their wealth, that would be the only means to absolutely guarantee it is wasted, even these charities they constantly create is a better way than that.
      • There's plenty of data out there showing that the more various governments around the world invest in their safety nets, the more poverty is reduced.

        What's delusional is assuming private charity is going to fix poverty, or that capitalism will magically offer everyone great careers.

        At the end of the day, the only system we've come up with that has shown itself to actually be effective at reducing poverty are government run safety net programs.

        The less means-tested, the better.

        • citations please? look at the US government, supposedly one of the richest countries in the world, you have a poverty rate ABOVE 10% yet spend over half a trillion dollars a year on military. As long as that situation is in place governments have proven time and time again that the layers of bureaucracy, pork barreling and corruption make them the most inefficient engine to distribute wealth. Burning a billion dollars in a bon fire will also make people warm for a night, but it ISN'T an efficient means to s
          • Look into budget/tax proposals people have come up with for universal basic income. It replaces Social Security plus a series of smaller safety net programs.

            Basically between the savings we get from removing the inefficient means testing along with some modest tax increases on the wealthy, it is feasible without even bothering to alter our Medicare/Medicaid spending nor altering our insane military industrial complex.

            However if we reformed those things too, we could certainly afford UBI with less tax increa

    • How much of what we the people want gets done by lawmakers who only do what they want? Is it any different? Not that I see.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess it will work for Microsoft...

  • >> Bill Gates is known as a big philanthropist

    Well, then, he's really a BFP then, isn't he?

  • It's too late for atonement.
  • I'll wait for the next version with less bugs.

  • I suggest MisAnthropies.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Wednesday December 16, 2015 @01:28PM (#51130785) Journal
    This is NOT about Charity, but about finding new ways to improve public image of the company and increase Microsoft Sales. Gate's Charity has always tied MS sales to his money. Total BS.
  • This is literally about a charity and you still complain. The level of fanboy M$ hate in here has always been funny, but this just takes the cake.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      yes, about a charity and we should all thank them. NOT. The One Laptop Per Child( OLPC ) was/is about charity too but in came Microsoft to save the day and shut down their sales with exclusive(can ONLY run Microsoft Windows ) contracts with each government the OLPC had MOU's with. And they also came up with Windows on OLPC which was worthless, had one Microsfot employee on the project yada yada yada. Microsoft sucks and a Microsoft charity is not a charity, it's a front for spreading their product and prev

  • should not count as a donation since we all know Ms wants lots of people in their ecosystem at whatever price.
  • All US corporations enjoy the privilege of corporate personhood []; as such, they can claim a number of individual rights, although the US Supreme Court has not (yet) recognized a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for a corporation, since the right can be exercised only on an individual basis (at this time). In theory if not fact, a corporation's authorized representatives can engage in felonious conduct for which the corporation itself may be later held solely responsible, since these individu

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