"...Mexican nonprofits such as the Union of Businesspeople for
Technology in Education have managed to pry donations from the
hands of billionaire multinationals -- such as Microsoft -- with
some success. But on a larger scale, Mexico's future may well
reside in free software as well as hardware donations, said Gary
Chapman, director of the 21st Century Project, a nonprofit research
and education program on science and technology policy based at the
University of Texas at Austin."
"The standard MS Office price tag is $250. It would take the
average Mexican -- earning $5 a day -- almost 2 months to buy it.
Chapman calculates it would cost about $300 million to outfit
Mexico's notoriously under-funded schools with Microsoft
applications -- the same amount Microsoft claims to lose to piracy
in Mexico each year."
"Open source software would solve that (piracy) problem,"
Chapman said. "You can get all the functionality without paying the
software fees." In fact, Red Escolar, a project that aspires to
wire every Mexican school to the Internet, uses free applications
Linux and Gnome on its computers, he said. "Mexico could become an
example for other countries around the world," Chapman said."