Re: Why Windows in the first place?
You might not like charity organisations but there are many who provide a valuable contribution to local communities. Indulge me whilst I Illustrate with an example:
I volunteer at a local community centre, itself a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is located in the North East of England in an area the government acknowledge as suffering from a high level of social deprivation and unemployment. There are two full-time employees whose salaries are paid for through funding raised from other organisations who finance a variety of community projects. Two other people, the building's caretakers, are employed by the local council from whom we lease the building. We also have an Ofsted-registered nursery catering for 0-5 year old children.
As well as a wide variety of social and leisure activities for all age groups, we also have two IT suites which are heavily used for a variety of purposes, not the least of which is catering for unemployed people fulfilling their obligations under Job Search and a myriad of other things like applying for benefits of all kinds which the government now require to be done online—over 40% of the local population do not have access to the internet of a computer at home, so we provide a vital service in that regard.
We also provide IT services for vision and hearing-impaired people, those with low literacy skills and those for whom English is not their first language. As a charity, we have received our Windows licences free and we make use of many other open-source packages. We are also looking to move to a more heterogeneous computing environment incorporating Macs and Linux in the future.
In short, the cost of maintaining our IT systems pales into insignificance compared to the cost of maintaining the infrastructure: gas and electricity bills,insurance, interior fabric maintenance, yada, yada, yada. Every single penny of profit is ploughed back into serving the community's needs: last year, nearly 5000 people benefited from the centre. Put another way, over 60% of the local population directly benefited from the centre's activities. Therefore, the idea that such services can be created and run by an organisation staffed entirely by volunteers is both ludicrous and jejune: you need highly-skilled people in order to drive this forward and for that, you need to pay them.
We also are having to contend with the government's Community Asset Transfer program—an accounting con-job of monstrous proportions—which will mean us becoming responsible for everything while the council keeps the building as an asset on their books without having any responsibility for it. Many centres in the surrounding area will not be able to cope with the financial responsibility and will undoubtedly fold thus further disenfranchising people who can ill afford further social isolation.
So, before you decide to repeat your importunate and ill-advised commentary, I urge you to spare a thought for those less well-off than yourself and for those organisations who struggle daily against a sea of government iniquity to make a genuine difference in people's lives. To quote Whoopi Goldberg: "…he who is without shit on their shoe, take the first step on the white rug!"