Linux Looms Large

SpinnerSpinner Birmingham, UK
edited July 2003 in Science & Tech
The below is a news article which I felt stood out in this months edition of the UK mag PC ADVISOR. It's another one of those Linux vs Microsoft reads, you know, the ones we all love so much.

Here it is:
It looks like Linux has Microsoft running scared. A report in the International Herald Tribune earlier this year claimed to have found a leaked email from a Microsoft sales executive. The memo, sent last July, was said to have authorised senior managers to draw from a special fund in order to win contracts where the company looked likely to lose out to Linux.

Microsoft UK refused to comment, but did say it was adopting programs to “make technology available at low prices”.

The need to offer its software at cheaper cost has arisen due to the growing interest in low-cost and free open-source software. In Thailand, Hp has reported phenomenal demand to its dub-£300 notebook, which runs the Linux operating system. At the time of writing over 19,000 devices had been ordered in the two weeks since the notebook went on sale as part of the government’s scheme to provide people with cheaper computers.

IDC analyst Bryan Ma says that the Linux-based HP PC poses a real threat to Microsoft, as it allows customers to avoid paying a licence fee to use the Windows OS. “This could make Microsoft tremble in its boots,” he adds.

The problem poorer countries like Thailand face is the huge cost of running Microsoft software for both consumers and businesses. Tony Roberts of Computer Aid International, which provides refurbished PCs to developing countries, highlights this problem.

He states that in South Africa the government was forced to budget around £280m to cover licence costs for a single financial year. This means “countries in Africa can’t afford not to move over to open-source [software]”. Both Nambia and Nigeria are in the process of swapping to open source.

But its not just poorer nations that see the values to moving to open source. Japan’s leading ISP Edge has signed a deal with to promote Linux to Japanese customers. Germany is also continuing to migrate its government departments to open-source software.


  • RWBRWB Icrontian
    edited July 2003
    Maybe Microsoft will think of something new like... make the world a rich place then they can afford to buy the software! Hell they have the money to turn all of Africa into a Japan! In seriousness, I believe with Microsofts money, they could within 30 years turn Africa and other poorer areas of the world into a wealthy place. Get rid of starvation, etc... think of what they could do for America if they got rid of that whole "buisness and money" thing.
  • NixxerNixxer Nottingham, UK
    edited July 2003
    But Microsoft IS evil.
  • CaffeineMeCaffeineMe Cedar Rapids, IA
    edited July 2003
    Nixxer said
    But Microsoft IS evil.

    Maybe. But, if Gates and company decided to pull a Ted Turner and DONATE $1B US a year (or more) to eradicating hunger and disease in Africa and other, underdeveloped regions of the world, that argument would tend to lose a lot of steam. I don't mean donating hardware/software as they have done in the past, but just GIVE money AWAY! The Gates Foundation already does a lot of this, but, good or bad, this does not get a lot of press.
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