[OPE-L] The Linux Liberation Movement

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu Dec 30 2004 - 17:51:26 EST

The Open Source challenge to the hegemony of Microsoft
in computer operating systems has spread to Venezuela,
Brazil, and Cuba. Yet, note the role of IBM and Novell
in spreading the gospel of Linux. Is Linux something that
we should be championing?

In solidarity, Jerry

  By: Gregory Wilpert - Venezuelanalysis.com
Published: 30/12/04
December 30, 2004—President Chavez issued a decree this
week which says that Venezuela’s public administration will
switch over to use so-called Open Source software, such as
the Linux operating system, over the course of the next two
years. Chavez had announced his intention to issue such a
decree a few months ago.
The decree states that in the next three months the
Minister for Science and Technology should present the
president with a national plan for ensuring a smooth
transition of Venezuela’s public administration to Open
Source software. During these three months, all ministries
will be required to assess their technology needs, to
educate themselves on the use of free software, and how
they can migrate their systems towards such software. These
plans are then to be implemented in the following 24
Venezuela is thus stepping in the footsteps of other Latin
American countries, such as Brazil and Cuba. The hope of
these countries is to be able to save millions of dollars
in license fees that software such as Mircosoft Windows and
Office generally require governments to pay. According to
official figures, Venezuela paid $7.5 million in license
fees during 2004.
In Venezuela, the companies IBM and Novell have announced
efforts to promote Linux.
Many obstacles remain for the transition to Open Source
software in Venezuela because most computer users are used
to the proprietary software of Microsoft and because
Microsoft has been able to convince the Ministry of
Education into signing a long-term contract in return for
the donation of hundreds of school computers.
See also: Venezuela Embraces Linux and Open Source
Software, but Faces Challenges

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