Adding a little bit of corporate social responsibility, a splash of heart and a drop of charity - Microsoft are being nice guys with the announcement to reduce the cost of its software.

Developing nations will be offered stripped-down versions of Windows, Office and other software at a bargain price of $3. Bill Gates said this "would help close the digital divide in all parts of the globe", in a Microsoft statement.

Rather than an act of charity, this could be see as Microsoft trying to beat the competitor because some governments in developing countries have encouraged Windows alternatives such as the free Linux operating system.

Mind you, Microsoft are using a good slogan "a passport to a digital society". It seems the company want to become Robin Hood, taking from the rich - on which the company was built - and giving to the poor. Many users are unhappy that Microsoft is still over-charging on systems in the UK.