Microsoft To Give India Nonprofits Free Software
Microsoft Corp. will distribute free software to nonprofit groups to boost
charity in India, a company official said Monday.
The software donation will be routed through a technology assistance program
that India's NASSCOM Foundation is offering in partnership with TechSoup, a
San Francisco-based group that partners in charity work with companies like
Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Symantec.
NASSCOM Foundation, the philanthropy arm of the trade body of technology companies
operating in India, introduced the program Monday -- titled BiG Tech.
BiG Tech is a Web-based program that allows nonprofits to apply for free software
online. The foundation will charge a fee of up to 4 percent to the nonprofit
Nearly 35,000 nonprofit groups in India will be eligible for such software
Microsoft sees BiG Tech as another opportunity to push its India strategy that
has often tied business moves with philanthropy.
"We think it is going to make a big impact in India," said Neelam
Dhawan, managing director at Microsoft India.
Microsoft is a major donor for TechSoup, which runs or partners similar technology
assistance programs across 25 countries outside the United States.
In the fiscal year 2008, TechSoup aims to distribute $55 million worth of software.
The group sees "an extraordinary opportunity in India," said Mike
Yeaton, its global director.
Yeaton said the BiG Tech program also offers an opportunity for Indian technology
companies to channel their charity through TechSoup to countries in other parts
of the world.