E5Rebel writes "Microsoft will spend $235m in schools worldwide over the next five years, part of a plan to triple the number of students and teachers trained in its software programs to up to 270 million by 2013. 'Microsoft's investment shows how important it views developing markets to its future business. Last year, Microsoft introduced the Student Innovation Suite, which includes the XP Starter Edition plus educational applications, for $3 for qualifying countries. Microsoft faces heated competition from companies supporting the open-source OS Linux and associated software in developing countries. "I think as a company we welcome choice," [Orlando Ayala] said. "Frankly, we welcome the competition." The company's educational funding comes with a hitch: "Of course, that includes the fact they [the schools] use Windows," Ayala said.' If you don't use Windows you don't get the cash." Microsoft has long been interested in the education of children.