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[News] Microsoft Executive Insults South Africans for Free Software Policy

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South Africans don’t understand OSS - Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Despite having an open source strategy the South African government doesn’t 
| really understand how to benefit from OSS. This is according to Microsoft 
| director of corporate standards, Jason Matusow. Matusow, who was in South 
| Africa on an “external outreach” trip around the time SA adopted ODF as a 
| national standard, writes on his blog that not only does government not 
| understand how to benefit from open source software, but South Africans were 
| unlikely to ever do any “deep” development work on Linux.      



SA's open source acceleration

,----[ Quote ]
| Beveridge says while many people think only of the Linux operating system
| when they talk about open source software, its scope is much deeper than
| that. The ambit of open source extends from the open document format ODF -
| that describes exactly how information is stored and formatted - to
| applications such as OpenOffice (a competitor of Microsoft Office) to the
| desktop and server versions of the Linux operating system, to name but a few.
| Another misconception surrounding the technology is that it's free. And while
| most of it doesn't have licence fees attached to it, users pay for the
| application's service and support. That's why it's gaining popularity with
| developing countries, because it encourages the development of indigenous
| technology companies.


Embrace the Reality and Logic of Choice

,----[ Quote ]
| Another neo-colonialist press release from Microsoft's CompTIA lobbying arm,
| this time inveighing against South Africa's adoption of ODF as a national
| standard. One way to point out the absurdity of their logic is to replace the
| reference to ODF with references to any other useful standard that a
| government might adopt, like electrical standards.    


$1 buys a lot of StarOffice

,----[ Quote ]
| As government begins its move to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard, Sun
| Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz has offered President Thabo Mbeki as many
| copies of StarOffice his office requires for a total cost of just $1.00.  
| [...]
| Beveridge explains that the biggest implemetation project currently underway
| within the South African government is the move to ODF.


Government, NGOs 'turning to Linux'

,----[ Quote ]
| "It's extremely easy - basically anyone can install Linux now."
| Organisations such as the Shuttleworth Foundation, which help provide
| computers to underprivileged schools, use Linux instead of Windows to cut
| costs.  


South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard

,----[ Quote ]
| The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on Friday approved the Open
| Document Format (ODF) as an official national South African standard. The
| adoption of ODF by South Africa opens the way for the businesses and
| government to adopt ODF more widely in their processes.  


Welcome to the Open Source Era

,----[ Quote ]
| Research indicates open source is gaining momentum, and there are significant
| amounts of money coming from the investment community into open source
| vendors.


Open source sets sights on SMEs

,----[ Quote ]
| Connection Telecom's Asterisk is a free open source telecoms solution
| developed by Mark Spencer in 2002 and 2003. Spencer was a Linux vendor
| looking for an open source PABX system. Shocked by the high prices of
| existing proprietary solutions, Spencer sat down and wrote Asterisk, which by
| answering the need for a cost-effective alternative, became an immediate
| global success story.

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