Software Competition Helps Not for Profits
18 November 2002 at 12:11 pm
Attempts to break the computer software stronghold of Microsoft worldwide as well as its advanced community program has seen Sun Microsystems go all out to attract Not for Profits in Australia.
Sun Microsystems Australia has extended its multi billion dollar Licensing Donation Program to Australia offering its SunOffice 6 program to many thousands of eligible Not for Profits to replace the entrenched Microsoft Office package.
Sun Managing Director, Jim Hassell says more than five million students, researchers and educators across Australia are set to benefit from the program.
Sun Microsystems claims that schools using Microsoft Office have been locked into stringent licensing policies and limited user access, while Sun’s global donation initiative is aimed at providing as many students and teachers as possible a choice in technology.
It says StarOffice 6.0 offers a complete set of tools, including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, image editing and drawing programs.
Sun’s National Manager of Education and Research, Andrew Boulus says the company has had a long involvement with the community sector and the response so far to the StarOffice offer has been phenomenal.
Boulus says the package works across several platforms and is compatible with the Microsoft Office software.
He says 36,000 Sun Microsystems employees use StarOffice everyday without any compatibility problems.
The donation, estimated to potentially exceed $100 million in Australia, provides an unlimited number of user licences to eligible applicants of the StarOffice 6.0 open-source software package – a Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) software offering.
Eligible institutions include: primary and secondary schools; universities, graduate schools and community colleges; libraries; teaching hospitals; museums; and non-profit research organisations.
The program consists of three different levels of user agreements. There is a once off cost to cover shipping, media and manual. The different levels of user agreement and associated establishment costs are as follows.
1. Institutional Internal Use, granting institutions use of StarOffice on any machines they own, operate or maintain control over (Once off final cost: AUD$138.50)
2. Institutional Distribution to End Users, granting institutions the right to replicate and distribute StarOffice to their constituents for personal use at the institution and at home via CDs, pre-installing on laptops and desktops, and making it available on authenticated, non-public download sites (Once off final cost: AUD$183.00)
3. Large Scale Distributions, granting large centralised organisations (such as Ministries of Education, Federal, State and Regional agencies and Boards of Education) the ability to centrally manage the replications and redistribution of StarOffice and the rights to offer to their constituents the ability to use StarOffice for personal use at home (Once off final cost: AUD$183.00)
Microsoft Australia has also been involved in community technology projects for a number of years in this country.
Microsoft says that over the past four years through its eMpower Australia Campaign, and Partnership Program and Community Assistance Initiative, it has contributed almost $20 million to more than 2000 Not for Profit organisations serving disadvantaged communities across Australia, through four distinct eMpower programs:
The Community Partnership Program
The Community Assistance Initiative
The Community Skills Program
The Corporate Citizenship Initiative
The eMpower Campaign has provided cash, software, volunteer and other support with several key organisations serving specific disadvantaged sectors:
The Inspire Foundation: providing technology access to youth-at-risk in urban areas throughout Australia through Beanbag Centres.
The Australian Seniors Computer Club Association: providing technology access to seniors across remote and regional Australia.
The Yarnteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation: providing Internet access, job and community development opportunities to remote Aboriginal communities.
WorkVentures: establishing technology training centres within urban housing projects for a broad range of disadvantaged individuals.
The Smith Family: providing access to learning to disadvantaged children and families.
Technical Aid to the Disabled: providing access to technology and opportunity for those with disabilities.
Microsoft says that in addition to direct funding for community partnerships, the eMpower Campaign provides software and technology support for thousands of non-profit organisations throughout Australia. The donations made through this program have increased 700% since the program’s inception. Last year alone, (2001) the program reached 800 organisations for a total of almost $7 million in software contributions.
Recently it increased its commitment to assisting people with disabilities to gain access to technology in a partnership with Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD). Its commitment so far is over $500,000.
The partnership with Microsoft Australia will enable TAD’s Computer Loan Service to provide PCs in the homes of people with disabilities and access to on-line services, education and social interaction.
For more information on the Sun Microsystems offer go to:www.www.sun.com/products-n-solutions/edu/products_solutions/software/desktop_applications.html .
For more information about Microsoft’s eMpower campaign go to:www.www.microsoft.com/australia/empower.
**Stay tuned for a forthcoming edition of the Pro Bono Australia e-Newsletter for details of our Christmas competition – we will be giving away a free copy of StarOffice 6.0 to one lucky reader from a Not for Profit organisation.**