Open source: Developing markets and anti-Americanism

Open source: Developing markets and anti-Americanism

Summary: Open Source in Government: Outside of the US and Europe, cost is a big motivator for using open source software - but it's not the only one


Brazil: The spirit of community

Spotlight project:
The Brazilian government may distribute one million laptops running open source software to local schools. In January, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched a project to build low-cost Linux-based laptops for the developing world. The Brazilian government is considering building 2 million of these laptops, half of which will be distributed to local schools, and is investigating the finances of the scheme.

Open source software has been deployed by the federal, state and city governments in Brazil, although the states and cities have been more progressive, according to Ronaldo Lemos, the director of the Centre for Technology & Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas law school in Brazil, which recently advised Brazilian government on the its open source strategy.

"Before the Federal government embraced free software, there had been initiatives at the city and state levels that helped to pave the way for a broader program," says Lemos.

There have been a number of large scale migrations in Brazilian states, for example, the state of Parana is migrating 10,000 government employees from proprietary software to a customised version of the open source collaboration application eGroupWare and São Paulo has deployed Linux on 16,000 PCs and 1,000 servers in schools across the state, according to Mandriva. Some federal government agencies have also migrated to open source software, with seven of the 22 federal ministries reportedly using open source. This includes a number of open source desktop deployments, for example, is run on 4000 seats in the federal government, according to Erwin Tenhumberg, a product marketing manager at Sun.

The Brazilian federal government has drafted a bill that would mandate the use of open source software by public departments. This decree would force...

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Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • Funny, I always thought Brazil was located in the western hemisphere. Oh wait! It is!
  • anti-Americanism ???

    Most of the major Linux distributions are American.

    So tell me again how using Linux is anti-Americanism?????
  • DO NOT click the Times of India link! It threw a bunch of popups right past my blocker, and started trying to install something(!) When I tried to kill the installer, my whole system hung.
  • The link to the Times of India has been removed.

    Thanks for your feedback -- it seemed to work alright in testing earlier, so apologies for it causing problems.
  • You can ask every serious IT security expert to learn that it is not paranoid to be afraid of backdoors in closed source systems. For example, do you remember the NSA-key in Windows NT which could be interpreted as a backdoor? What about the CIA-made software bug which caused the explosion of a soviet gas pipeline and was the biggest non-nuclear explosion ever? Finally the US-american spy plane which stranded 2001 in China represents the relationship of the USA to China. Now tell me that there are no good reasons for China to distrust the USA! This is not paranoid and it is not anti-Americanism as well. Anti-Americanism is to decline everything from America without a reason. (In fact you are talking about anti-US-Americanism and not anti-Americanism)
  • F/OSS is pro-American. Where do you get this anti- Americanism from. MS is not the US -- yet -- as much as Gates would like you to think so. Gates has no respect for US laws whether traffic laws or trade laws. No respect for the US DOJ. MS pays little or no taxes and causes billions of damage every quarter through lost productivity in the work place caused by its defective products (downtime, maintenance, viruses, cracking and phishing).

    What's more "American" freedom and self governenance which you get with F/OSS? Or the one-size-fits-all, top down Soviet style monolith provided by Microsoft?