Argentina cries out for Linux

Argentina cries out for Linux

Summary: Nearly half of companies in Argentina are using Linux, with many planning to use it for all new applications

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Companies in Argentina are opting for Linux over Windows and some are planning to migrate all their systems to Linux, according to a survey published this week.

The survey was carried out by Trends Consulting, an Argentina-based company, which interviewed 115 companies in Argentina in the first half of 2004. It found that 42 percent of Argentine companies are using Linux. Of these firms, 4.5 percent plan to migrate all their systems to Linux in the short-term and 16 percent plan to adopt it for all new applications.

According to Raul Bauer, the director of Trends Consulting, companies are primarily adopting open source for cost reasons, given the current economic recession. Argentina's economy collapsed in 2001, which left the company struggling with debt defaults and currency devaluation.

"In the eye of the economic storm, many IT managers in Argentina put aside concerns -- if any -- regarding open source solutions," said Bauer. "Total cost of ownership and other issues usually under discussion when comparing alternatives were banished. The level of cash expenditures became the more urgent issue to take care of."

The survey also found that only 7 percent of companies using Linux are working with the large multinational distributors such as Novell or Red Hat. Instead they are choosing to train their employees themselves or hire independent professionals.

Martin Migoya, the head of business development at Argentinian outsourcing company Globant, said in a previous interview that Argentina is ahead of other countries in terms of open source expertise, as these skills became necessary following Argentina's economic crisis, which saw the peso devalued in 2002.

Argentina is not the only Latin American country that extensively uses open source software such as Linux. Brazil also uses open source: earlier this year the Brazilian state of Parana said that it would be moving 10,000 government employees to an open source email and calendaring application.

Cost is not the only deciding factor for companies in Latin America choosing to adopt open source software. Creating local jobs, the ability to translate the software into local languages and political considerations can also be important. Cuba, for example, cannot legally import Microsoft software from America due to the US trade embargo.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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5 comments
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  • I was just there in Buenos Aires 4 weeks ago, I went around looking at any signs of Linux & I found it, many many PC shops were selling new PCs preloaded with Xandros Linux, 50% of the time, this is what I found.

    I was born in Buenos Aires but I was brought up in Australia, one thing for sure, forget what Microsoft's TCO paid studies suggest, when it comes down to cost alone, Linux has proved it's the only option in a country who's economy had collapsed.

    This is the evidence that M$ don't want you to see.
    anonymous
  • I'm an Argentine person who use Windows at my jobs (International Company), but I use LINUX AT HOME, not only because is free also becuase IS BETTER THAN WINDOWS and gives the change if you know how, to see the code, and with this you are really safe what the OS does.
    anonymous
  • Hola Oscar,
    Muy Bien! Linux va a dominar el futuro, en 3 o 5 anos todos los que saben usar Linux van a ser pagado$ mejor que los que nada mas que saben click click click con Bill!

    Estube en Buenos Aires ase 5 semanas atras, es la primera vez que e bolvido a mi paiz de nacimiento en 31 anos, y te digo que aunque vivo en Australia, no ay nada como argentina.

    Todo va a levantar, segui con Linux hermano.
    Hola de un argentino en sydney!

    Ricardo.
    anonymous
  • Te comento que aca hay una gran movida con LINUX con peque
    anonymous
  • Hola Oscar,
    I'll write in English now for the sake of all the other good people on this board. Here in Sydney, Australia, I have friends who work for the education department & I can tell you, they are pushing open source,

    My opinion is that, if you have to choose who to push open source to first, I would say it's Government, I believe that when Government starts to use open source, they in turn influence private enterprise & Companies, Government is at the top of the feeding chain & can force changes in trends much quicker than private enterprise.

    Private enterprise is always more open to Microsoft Corruption Tactics & threats, but I agree with you about the Big companies, if we have the likes of IBM , HP, Novel etc, it accelerates the transition.

    Just look at all the Linux forums, these sites are getting much bigger traffic from Linux neubies than 12 months earlier, every year more & more kids are turning to Linux. It's too late for Microsoft, the momentum is now unstopable.

    Quidate hermano, happy & healthy new year to you!!

    ricardo
    anonymous