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Linux Journal: Open-Source Software Opens New Windows to Third-World

May 06, 2002, 19:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frederick Noronha)

"GNU/Linux, and tons of useful software that comes along with it, is clearly attracting interest from a range of quarters. From Pakistan to the UNDP, from Africa to Malaysia, and even in the Philippines or Thailand and Nepal, GNU/Linux is being closely watched, studied and adopted in a range of interesting experiments.

"Created and propagated largely by volunteers, most of GNU/Linux's growth simply isn't based on giant billion-dollar spinning corporations that have the resources to promote its cause. So, such success stories from the Third World could largely go unnoticed.

"In large parts of the world where the average per capita income is often less than the cost of a computer, the current phenomenal price of software turns millions into "pirates". In these parts of the globe, words such as free or low cost are not necessarily associated with low-quality, but offer to include millions who otherwise would be simply left out in the cold.

"Because GNU/Linux is open source, there are no mountains of secrecy blocking replicability. So prices of the same fall to a point which is dramatically low compared to proprietary software and thus affordable to the millions..."

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