Sebastian Bassi writes about the challenges faced in making open-source software mainstream in developing countries. He identifies three key issues: Ignorance (“OSS stuff (GPL, GNU/Linux, source code, binary file and so on) is not always easy to get if you are knowledgeable about computers”), Corruption (“If the software is free (or at least significantly cheaper), how can the politicians profit from it?”)and Piracy (“Since software is almost free — you have to pay $3 to your favorite software dealer — people can’t see as an advantage the free nature of the OSS”).
Extremely good points. I don’t think that there is an immediate solution. What is needed is that a bottom-up change needs to take place – starting in schools and colleges, coupled with increasing awareness that there is a reliable and affordable alternative. An open-source software ecosystem needs to be created with multiple different entities working together.