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NewsForge: The Hidden Benefits of Free Software

Apr 18, 2006, 04:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"Most conversations about the cost of free software deal with its effects on the software industry. Microsoft people often talk about how much money the proprietary software industry can add to a developing country's economy. At the same time, proprietary software vendors tell us the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their products is often less than cost of running competing open source products, even though in developing countries the cost of labor is almost always low enough that license fees for proprietary software are huge by comparison. All these conflicting numbers get wearisome. Perhaps we need to look beyond the software industry--and beyond software pricing--to see what effects free and open source software have on a country's economy..."

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