Andrew Leonard opines on something that we've known all along:
that Open Source software makes economic sense for tech-poor
countries that cannot afford the price of most commercial
"There are other reasons for endorsing open-source software
internationally - in China, for example, government statements in
favor of open-source software seem to stem as much from nationalist
sentiment as they do from pragmatism. But for developing countries,
ranging from Malaysia to Mexico, open-source software is seen
neither as socialist nor silly; it is seen as just, well,
"Take, for instance, India. In a country where annual per-capita
income averages about $450, state-of-the-art software programs such
as a Microsoft operating system or an Oracle database are
prohibitively expensive. Whether you are a small business
purchasing a computer or an entire government bureaucracy intent on
computerizing operations, from a straightforward cost-basis
perspective open-source software, also often referred to as 'free
software,' is attractive."
"Not only can software such as Linux-based operating systems,
Apache Web servers and POSTgres SQL database programs be obtained
for free from the Net (or purchased at very low cost), but
thousands of skilled programmers are working all the time to
improve the code."
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