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(OT) Army to Gates: Halt the free software

by Donna Buenaventura / March 11, 2004 4:20 PM PST

The US Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense have instructed their employees to return free copies of Office 2003 given to them by Microsoft, saying their acceptance constitutes a breach of ethics. The Department of the Army has gone one step further, sending a letter to Microsoft chair Bill Gates, asking him to halt the gifts. Microsoft spokesman Keith Hodson argues that the gift program is meant to let users try new features and see how they might improve business operations. The Defense Department ruled that the software would constitute a gift from a prohibited source; the Interior prohibits employees from accepting gifts valued more than $20 from entities the government does business with or regulates.


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