Linux' Secret Weapon

Jobs. Local development. Local jobs. That's the pitch.

When Jon "Maddog" Hall of Linux International makes a speech touting Free and Open Source Software in, say, South Africa, he trots out Linux' secret weapon.

Nationalism.

Here's how Business Day, a South African business publication, put it:

“My main message is about jobs in SA,” Hall said at the LinuxWorld conference in Johannesburg. “Last year, R3bn left SA in software royalties. Open source creates an opportunity to move a lot of that money back into SA by employing people to develop software tailored to meet the needs of the industry.”

Jobs. Local development. Local jobs. That's the pitch.

Microsoft might use 500 programmers in Redmond to develop an office package for the entire world, Hall said. “If it created an open source version and everybody said: it’s good but I’d like a little change, they would bring in developers to make the change. That’s local jobs for local people in SA, not in Redmond.”

This has always been the case. What is interesting is that Hall, and Linux International, are making this case explicitly. How do our American readers feel about it?

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