Archive for April, 2008

Microsoft’s Motherhood/Apple Pie ‘Altruism’

April 9, 2008

During a recent Microsoft Tech Summit that I attended last month, Microsoft’s John Fernandes gave an interesting talk on Microsoft’s Local Software Economy (LSE) Initiative.

It’s a Motherhood/Apple Pie marketing and funding initiative with the goal to build healthy software economies in developing countries.

During the talk, there was an interesting debate that at first glance may be perceived as a typical colonial/imperialist exploitation.

Yes, Microsoft needs a profit center but establishing self-sustaining software businesses in economically disadvantaged countries is the apple pie.

I think most people in the room considered it a beautiful story, if successful. The hope is that these countries become much wealthier.

John Fernandes is clearly a man with a mission. He’s committed to use Microsoft resources to help developing countries build infrastructure, education programs, and entrepreneurial support for vibrant software ecosystems.

Ultimately, the businesses created will be self sustaining profit centers where eventually Microsoft prospers by selling more OS licenses. As he noted, "Motherhood and Apple Pie is a good thing" for both parties.

Some interesting notes:

  • LSE sponsors CMMi programs, fosters innovation, builds software associations.
  • Currently 80 countries involved.
  • Imagine Cup is an LSE initiative.
  • MIC: Microsoft Innovation Center is a key LSE service.


There may be more info on Microsoft Startup Zone.

BTW, here’s a post about LSE from last year’s MTS07 event.

Of course, Microsoft is not the only company with Motherhood/Apple Pie ‘altruism’.

IBM’s similar initiative is called PartnerWorld. In this case, IBM benefits from infrastructure and consulting service sales.