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Africa Proving To Be Next Frontier for Free and Open Software
LinuxInsider (Lisa Stapleton)Dec 26 2004original
Posted by giovaDec 29 2004 - 17:11
Most software for personal computers in the developed world presupposes a single user per computer, whether it's located at home or at the office. This is a rare situation in Africa, and the networking and security aspects of Linux help to set up such group environments, as does the ability to customized source code to Africa's culture and needs.
Desperately seeking their future, African countries that virtually no Western commercial software vendors have cared about in the past are turning to free and open software. They are doing so at a pace just quick enough to alarm some commercial software vendors, who fear the prospect of an entire continent dominated by free software in the future.

In Africa, where the average cash yearly income often amounts to just hundreds or perhaps a few thousand dollars per capita, the virtually unattainable cost of new hardware works against established commercial software vendors such as Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) . So does the lack of support for the used and refurbished hardware deployed several technology generations ago in the West. These formidable problems are propelling many in the developing world to the only legal alternative: free software.

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