Many people don't know they are eligible for complimentary Microsoft software and services. You can help spread the word to ensure that people in your community are making the best of what's available to them.
Microsoft and many other suppliers offer technology donations through TechSoup. Microsoft has donated more than $19,000,000 worth of technology to NZ nonprofits through this programme.
Microsoft's BizSpark programme provides complimentary software, cloud services and access to a community of partners around the world who are involved in supporting software-fueled innovation and the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.
For home users and small businesses, Microsoft Security Essentials is a complimentary download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and is automatically updated to protect Windows PCs with the latest anti-malware technology.
Māori language packs
Complimentary Māori language packs are available for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office are available to translate commonly-used features, giving people the choice to use the technology in a language that is familiar.
Microsoft offers a number of services free of charge to help people live and work a little smarter. Here’s a quick overview of technology to make life a little simpler and more fun. More than a million Kiwis use at least one of these services, and you'll probably find something that's useful for you and your community.
Protect your online safety
For Cyber-Safety Awareness Week this year, we featured top tips to help you keep safer and more secure online.
This time last week, a million computers infected with malicious software were sending an estimated at 50%-70% of all spam email worldwide at a rate of up to 3,000 spam emails per second. These infected computers made up a "botnet" called Rustock which has been operating for several years. Many of the emails were scams designed to cheat people out of their money by telling them they had won a fake lottery, or offering fake medications.
Last Thursday morning (NZ time), Microsoft led a take-down of the Rustock "botnet" by seizing dozens of computers that were controlling it. Immediately traffic from the "botnet" plummeted from thousands of spam emails per second to just single digits. The take-down was a decisive success.
As we browse the internet, we read, search, and click. This online behaviour has commercial value, so it is observed, recorded and linked across multiple websites to build behavioural profiles. There are usually no obvious visible signs of this tracking on the websites we visit, although the advertising, maps and other content we see on websites is often provided by organisations other than the website operator and what we see may be based on a behavioural profile. Many people find it useful that websites are automatically tailored to them, but others may prefer not to have their activities on the web tracked in this way.
Software makes life easier and keeps us connected. But many people experience barriers to using technology. We all know that even a passing circumstance like loud music can make it that much harder to understand an important voicemail.
When it’s not so easy to hear that voicemail, clever software might let us read it. When it’s not easy to see the screen, wouldn’t it be magical if a computer's electronic brain could increase the contrast? And if we prefer talking to our computer rather than pressing buttons, it's nice have a choice.