Microsoft spares some change for developing world

Two days before Microsoft revealed its latest Quarter profits - which stand at $6.5 billion for 3 months, the software company announced that it was spending nearly $236 million in schools globally in a bid to triple the number of students and teachers that use Windows Software.

Microsoft wants a whole generation of pupils, teaching staff and students - 270 million of them - to learn Microsoft lingo by 2013. That's a frightening prospect for the Open source community.

The money will be provided by the Partners in Learning Program and was announced at the Government Leaders Forum in Berlin and comes after Microsoft has introduced the Student Innovation Suite, which includes XP Starter Edition for $3.

Microsoft looks set taken on Linux and the Open source community as the two battle over the hearts and minds of millions of potential users in Africa, Asia and South America as hardware manufacturers start selling much affordable laptops with a growing proportion now proposing Windows over Linux.

Yesterday, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, spoke of his vision as he addressed the rich and the powerful at Davos, Switzerland, asking for a new breed of capitalism.

Gates wants businesses to be more creative in their bid to help improve the lives of the world's poorest, while making their fortunes prosper.