Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Another Country Abandons Windows for Linux
Douglas Chick

In another blow to Microsoft, after last weeks announcement from China to standardize its country to Linux, Brazil has also followed suit. In a surprising, or not so surprising announcement by Brazilís top technology officer, Brazil has decided to abandon Microsoft Windows and replace it with Linux and Samba. This is mostly due to the Brazilian President promise to close the technology gap for the poor. By adopting the open source technology, the country can use resources that would otherwise be given to Microsoft, and turn it into a means of helping the poor learn computers. Is this just one more nail in the coffin for Microsoft, or fate doing what many people say the government failed to do and punish Microsoft for the sins of their past?

            Microsoft is lobbying the Brazilian government trying to stop this from being mandated into law, as Iím sure they probably are in every country.   All of this after China made a similar announcement that it also would adopt the open source operating system. Linux servers are one thing, but desktops Microsoft isn't going to stand for. China is the fastest computer market in the world. This news must have been a devastating blow for Microsoftís marketing department.

            With respect to Linux, I donít see Microsoft closing shop yet. Microsoft represents too much money for too many people. Iím sure every politician as well as corporate leader owns Microsoft. The moment a country threatens the stocks of a U.S. corporation, Congress is all over them with higher tariffs, reassessing annual loans and military support.

            So donít start celebrating, or mourning yet. (Depending on which side of the operating system fence you reside. Personally I don't have a side, but do believe that unless Congress outlaws the use of Linux, time is against Microsoft.) What goes on behind closed doors is completely different than what is used as propaganda to the people.

            I heard the creator of Kaaza say that you can't stop technology, and if people are given the choice between free software or having to purchase it; free software will win every time. After all, isn't that what Microsoft did to Netscape when it gave IE away for free? The biggest question on my mind is; look what Microsoft did in terms of stomping the competition when it didn't have to. So what will it do out of desperation?



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