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March 29, 2006

Venezuela touts open source software as alternative to Microsoft

Posted by David Hunter at 8:55 PM ET.

Jorge Rueda at the AP:

Venezuela’s science and technology ministry recently held the Latin American Free Software Installation Fair, an event promoting the use of the open-source Linux operating system and other nonproprietary programs over Microsoft’s Windows.

Groups of Linux users have been organizing similar events in other Latin American countries, including Argentina and Colombia, and the Venezuelan government has signed on as a promoter.

The technology ministry said the fair is part Venezuela’s move toward “technological sovereignty, and taking advantage of knowledge for building national scientific independence.”

(Venezuela President Hugo) Chavez, a vehement critic of the capitalist system, issued a decree in 2004 ordering all the country’s public institutions to actively move toward open-source alternatives, hoping to save millions of dollars.

Chavez says previous governments spent more on licensing fees for proprietary software than social programs to fight poverty.

Chavez hasn’t directly criticized Microsoft however, just multinational corporations in general.

Filed under General Business, Governmental Relations, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Public Relations

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One Response to “Venezuela touts open source software as alternative to Microsoft”

  1. Third World piracy actually good for Microsoft? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Actually the No. 1 software firm in Vietnam must be the pirates, but I digress. There’s much more to the article, but the implication is that Microsoft, unlike the music industry, isn’t doing all it could to eliminate piracy for fear of open source software and because they are intentionally pushing a more nuanced approach in hopes that the Third World locals eventually get converted into paying customers. I’m not sure how well that works with confirmed anticapitalists like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, but maybe there’s a play with the state sponsored capitalists in China. It sure gives a different perspective to the announcements from last week: TCL and Microsoft Join Hands to Promote Intellectual Property Protection in China TCL Group, one of the leading PC manufacturers in China, today signed a genuine Windows® cooperative engagement agreement with Microsoft Corp. According to the agreement, the two companies are committed to working together to promote the use of validly licensed versions of Microsoft® software products on TCL-branded personal computer products for the Chinese market through joint marketing and other engagement. The agreement will help enhance the use of genuine software, and the respect for and protection of intellectual property in China. … “Starting in June, TCL will pre-install genuine Windows software on all its PC product lines and plans to purchase licenses of Windows worth $60 million for the coming three years,” said Yang Weiqiang, vice president of TCL Group. “TCL is committed to intellectual property rights protection because we understand our customers can benefit from higher quality, security, reliability, product support and a better user experience by using genuine software.” [...]

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