Ressources documentaires pour Mandriva Linux et les Logiciels Libres

Reading of the Week : When Linux fails

I’ve just read a very interesting article written by Jeremy Allison ( one the the SAMBA lead dev ). This post was relating a talk given at an Ontarioshow by Ian Howard, called « Free and Open Source Software in Africa – Emerging Opportunities for Linux ». This talk explains why Free Software and Linux may failed to found opportunities in Africa and succeed : When Linux fails.

It’s a very interesting and informative read. I do advise people to read carefully this article, because it can point out many of the difficulties that Linux vendors may face when dealing with poor countries, but also even in rich ones. Some quotes :

  • The outcome of this rampant illegal software copying is that Windows is seen as « the first world standard » and any attempt to push a cheaper alternative is strongly resisted. They consider it trying to cheat local people out of getting the same quality of software that is used in the developed world
  • The local « computer support person » resented a solution that was so easy to use that it undermined the power and prestige they received by being the person to consult when a Windows computer had problems
  • In a region with no software development experience, even Open Source software isn’t going to help bootstrap a computer support or software industry where there is nothing to start with
  • Without the opportunity of economic benefits, people in developing countries simply don’t have the time to learn about Free and Open Source software, no matter how much it seems to fit their needs from an external point of view.

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