Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Samba, Soccer and Open Source

Filed under
OSS

Since the election of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil has gradually become a beachhead for Open Source, and consequently a thorn in Microsoft's side. Soon after his election, President da Silva appointed Sergio Amadeu, an academic and Open Source enthusiast, to head Brazil's National Information Technology Institute.

Amadeu gained a modicum of fame in Brazil by launching a network of free computer centers running Open Source PC software in Sao Paulo. He is now extending this idea, as Brazil launches its PC Connectado initiative, which is aimed at encouraging and subsidizing PC usage in the home, in schools and in small businesses. The goal is to reduce the cost of PCs and proliferate their usage - and Amadeu is of the opinion that Open Source is crucial to achieving this.

This opinion is seconded by Walter Bender, Director of the MIT Media Lab, who advised, in a letter to the Brazilian government: "We advocate using high-quality free software as opposed to scaled-down versions of more costly proprietary software. Free software is far better on the dimensions of cost, power and quality." (quoted by Reuters).

The PC Connectado initiative aims to cut the cost of PCs by about 50% (to around $500). The three major telecom companies in Brazil are also participating in the initiative by reducing their Internet access charges to around $3 for 15 hours of surfing per month. The initiative is part of a broader program which involves all government ministries and state run companies gradually switching to Open Source. President da Silva has also mandated that software developed by companies or research institutes that receive government funding, must be released as Open Source.

In an effort to stay relevant, Microsoft promised significant price cuts on its software, but this failed to impress the Brazilians and it looks as though Microsoft will not be participating in PC Connectado in any way. Microsoft faces an increasingly difficult situation as a growing number of governments across the world back Open Source. The simple fact is that Microsoft has been gradually pricing itself out of emerging markets and thus the difference in cost between its software and Open Source is now a very compelling factor in these markets.

In "The Road Ahead", Bill Gates himself wrote enthusiastically about the "software ecosystem" that surrounded Microsoft in its early years. It made a huge contribution to the success of Windows, by creating an application-rich environment. The same kind of ecosystem now surrounds Open Source and it is growing quickly. I am amazed by its potential. It could completely undermine Microsoft's monopoly, and it probably will.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Installer Updated with Linux Kernel 4.16 Support

Developed under the Debian Testing umbrella, the forthcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series just received today the third alpha milestone of its installer, which lets people install the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers, servers, and IoT devices, such as the Raspberry Pi. One of the most interesting changes that caught out eyes is the bump of the kernel support from Linux kernel 4.13, which was used in the second alpha build, to Linux kernel 4.16. Of course, this means that there's better hardware support, so chances are you'll be able to install the development version of Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" on newer machines or if you have some exotic components on your PC. Read more

The New Microsoft

  • Microsoft ICE Contract Draws Fire

    “ICE’s decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud,” he wrote.

  • Microsoft faces outrage for blog post touting ICE contract

    As outrage grew online, a Microsoft employee quietly removed mention of ICE from the January press release this morning. Social media users noticed that, too. The company has since restored the press release's original language, and called its removal a "mistake."

  • Microsoft Removes Mention of ICE Cloud Work After Protests

    Microsoft Corp. scrubbed an online reference to its work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency faces criticism for its role in separating families at the U.S.-Mexican border.

  • Microsoft briefly removes blog post mentioning ICE contract after backlash
  • Microsoft's Ethical Reckoning Is Here

    Tech Workers Coalition, a labor group for tech industry employees, urged Microsoft employees to coordinate their opposition. “If you are a worker building these tools or others at Microsoft, decide now that you will not be complicit,” the group tweeted.

Android Leftovers

First Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Release Candidate Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Here

The latest Ubuntu Touch update from UBports, OTA-3, was released last year near the Christmas holidays, but it was still based on Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), so if you though Ubuntu Phones are dead, think again, because the UBports team has been hard at work to bring you the OTA-4, which will be the first to rebase the operating system on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). "The main reason why the arrival of OTA-4 seemed to take so long is because Ubuntu Touch switched its base to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. This is a mammoth milestone for the project, because it allowed us to transition from the unsupported Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet to a Long Term Support (LTS) base," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 RC Released, Upgrades To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS