Microsoft is providing software to poor countries at a discounted price of only $3 including stripped-down Windows and Office.
Vnunet News – Microsoft offers $3 Windows package for poor nations. It appears that Microsoft is pitching this as a great thing that they are doing to benefit the poorer nations, but appears to be a ploy to gain future customers.
To me this appears to be similar to their existing programmes where they provide software at lower price to Educational establishments as it means that in future the former students are more likely to pay the full price in the future.
A far better alternative would be to provide them the inequivalent Open Source software, which is even cheaper (ie. free), and will continue to be, when the country becomes richer. Any of the Linux distributions should be able to provide the operating system and Office functionality free, in both financial and freedom terms.