Saturday, January 22, 2005

OPEN SOURCE & DEVELOPING COUNTRIES…

OPEN SOURCE, Yes there is wider adoption, this view from worldchanging.com on OPEN SOURCING is interesting. Some highlights from the piece:

- Every license for Office plus Windows in Brazil - a country in which 22 million people are starving - means we have to export 60 sacks of soybeans," says Marcelo D'Elia Branco, coordinator of the country's Free Software Project and liaison between the open source community and the national government, now headed by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. "For the right to use one copy of Office plus Windows for one year or a year and a half, until the next upgrade, we have to till the earth, plant, harvest, and export to the international markets that much soy. When I explain this to farmers, they go nuts."

- "...Windows XP together with Office XP is US$560 in the U.S. This is over 2.5 months of GDP/capita in South Africa and over 16 months of GDP/capita in Vietnam. This is the equivalent of charging a single-user licence fee in the U.S. of US$7,541 and US$48,011 respectively, which is clearly unaffordable.“

I am an Indian, it is a DEVELOPING country. I work in the software industry, I want to continue earning my bread, but don’t want it to be at the cost of my countries economic growth. - HOW?

But why are the Brazilians thinking/talking/doing something about this and not the country that has by far the largest number of IT/IT related population...(IT Ministry…will need to pull things together in this space)

As a recent UN summit put it, "to get the economy of a developing country going, its government must stamp out corruption, ramp up efficiency and use open-source technology to build a cheap, reliable information infrastructure..." Having that information infrastructure is now fundamental to education, jobs, democracy and good government.

There are some ventures already rolling, by organizations to try and use technology to deal with poverty! - ITC e-Chaoupal...is pretty successful...(Read "Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid..CK Prahalad)

Another point to note here, Is that Software Piracy is rampant in India. – WHY?

Source: http://www.worldchanging.com

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