[K12OSN] Good Citizen Microsoft

Rick Barnich rbarnich at comcast.net
Wed Sep 29 15:18:49 UTC 2004

It occurred to me that when pitching K12LTSP, Linux and FOSS to school 
systems, perhaps one should point out what a good neighbor Microsoft is 
to the state of Washington. Recently, /Forbes/ ranked Seattle as the 
most overpriced city in the country. Our school class sizes are the 
fourth largest in the nation. Washington's percentage of residents 
enrolled in college ranks 46th out of 50 states. Seattle teacher 
salaries rank 97th out of 100 major cities. Our traffic is the 17th 
worst in the country. And let's not forget more than 167,000 Washington 
children without health care and the growing ranks of homeless citizens 
staking out highway off-ramps in search of handouts.

Seven years ago, Microsoft opened a small office in Reno, Nev., to 
collect the money it got from PC manufacturers that installed Windows 
and Office on the computers they sold. In the years since, Microsoft has 
sheltered more than $60 billion in royalty revenue in Nevada, a state 
with no corporate income tax, costing Washington an estimated $327 
million in unrealized tax revenue.

Washington(state) collected $16.1 million in taxes on software royalties 
of $3.3 billion for all companies over the past four years. Yet 
Microsoft reported that it earned more than $34 billion in revenue from 
PC and device manufacturers during the same period. Had Microsoft paid 
taxes on this revenue in Washington, it should have generated $164.5 
million for the state--far more than the $16.1 million collected on 
software sales by all companies.


Rick Barnich
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