The Big Monopoly may be getting a little nervous about the XO computer being distributed by the One Laptop Per Child project (also known as the $100 laptop).

At a conference in China, Bill Gates announced that the company would be offering a $3 package of software that includes Windows, Office and some educational programs to national governments for use on student computers.

The goal he says is to increase access to computers for people in developing nations. They plan to reach the first billion by 2015.

However, could there be other reasons for the software fire sale?

After all, OLPC has just distributed the first of potentially hundreds of millions of their little green machines, none of which will have a single line of the BM’s software on it.

There are also a rapidly increasing number of governments that are adopting open source alternatives for both OS and applications, including some in this country.

Even their big corporate supporters like Dell and Intel are becoming Linux fans.

Bill and his company have plenty of reasons to be concerned.

microsoft, one laptop per child, open source