The Long “Trek” to Open Source.

5 07 2009
A student using a windows computer.

A student using a windows computer.

In many developing countries where computers and ICTs are just finding their way in, Microsoft is the most common type of operating system.

Most of the users (let’s say, roughly 90% of the computers they have are using pirated operating system. In Uganda alone, this is a very typical practice. Most of the computers we use here are distributed by local dealers who sell computers with unlicensed operating systems. Many of the computer users in Uganda still remain unaware of genuine software issues.

Many computers continue to fail as a result of terminated operating systems.

Last week Microsoft contacted a local law firm in Uganda seeking their services to check software pirates.  In the New Vision a letter from one of the writers with the title “Microsoft, give the poor a break”. Read letter here

Throughout the past 2 – 3 year, open source promoters have tried to sensitize and train computer users in Uganda on how to use Open Source Software platforms like Linux, Ubuntu, e.t.c.

Whilst a few people have started using open source software, many others still remain rigid and prefer Microsoft software like Windows Xp, Microsoft office and the like.

This variation is attributed to the following reasons:

  • All computer users are introduced to computers through Microsoft platforms from day one and most of the computers be it in Computer café’s, schools, computer shops and homes all come with windows and Microsoft software.
  • Microsoft software is virtually free as users and distributes can easily copy and distribute the software as they wish.
  • Free and open source software is either not widely distributed or users are not aware of its existence.

All the above have given Microsoft software fame and made it the first choice for all computer users.

Today Microsoft is ready to fight software piracy which means all unlicensed software will be failed and the software pirates will be prosecuted. Is this the beginning of the transition from Microsoft to Open Source?

Of course a couple of users previously complained about the issue of the User interface of Linux and Open Source not being user friendly. However, over years open source developers have improved on the interfaces and the usability of their software.




One response

21 07 2009


Very usefull info. Thanks!…

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