Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Open Source for Developing World

September 15th, 2003 · No Comments

Dan Gillmor, after a trip to South Africa, says using open-source software is a no-brainer for the developing countries.

In Africa, in Asia, in much of the world — especially in the developing nations — open source is looking like the best way to usher in the information age. Money, flexibility and plain old independence from a monopolist’s clutches are a powerful combination.

Around the globe, educators, companies and governments are getting tired of paying the Microsoft tax, which tends to rise inexorably, and sending the money to America. They don’t like the upgrade cycle, especially when older computers run Linux just fine. They want to inspire more software innovation at home, and suspect Linux may be the best platform in a world where Microsoft also takes most of the profits in Windows application software.

With open source software — sometimes called “free software” — the source code, or programming instructions, is open for free downloading, inspection and modification by anyone. The GNU/Linux operating system is the best-known project in the genre, but much of the core software used in the Internet today is also open source.

In Africa, in Asia, in much of the world — especially in the developing nations — open source is looking like the best way to usher in the information age. Money, flexibility and plain old independence from a monopolist’s clutches are a powerful combination.

Around the globe, educators, companies and governments are getting tired of paying the Microsoft tax, which tends to rise inexorably, and sending the money to America. They don’t like the upgrade cycle, especially when older computers run Linux just fine. They want to inspire more software innovation at home, and suspect Linux may be the best platform in a world where Microsoft also takes most of the profits in Windows application software.

With open source software — sometimes called “free software” — the source code, or programming instructions, is open for free downloading, inspection and modification by anyone. The GNU/Linux operating system is the best-known project in the genre, but much of the core software used in the Internet today is also open source.

Tags: Emerging Markets

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