Open source vs. Microsoft in Peru

The South American version of the battle between open-source vs. Microsoft is heating up, most recently with the U.S. Ambassador John Hamilton in Peru who has written a letter to the president of the Peruvian Congress “expressing his dismay at the proposed legislation” which decrees the use of open-source software in all government systems. Lots of interesting quotes in this article from Wired News, such as the following:

Microsoft’s Andean subsidiary claims that the cost of converting state systems will be huge no matter which software is adopted. But the open sourcers argue that replacing the pirated software that currently runs most systems with duly licensed programs like those of Microsoft would be far more expensive. It’s the cost factor, along with the bullying factor, that gives the government pause.

And this one:

On a smaller scale, then, why is Microsoft so worried about what happens in Peru, should their efforts there fail? “They are terrified,” Villanueva told Wired News. “They insisted once and again that Peru (represents) but an insignificant portion of their total income. What worries them is the cascading effect that could be triggered if a national state took such a decision.

[Wired News, July 27th 2002]

From both personal and professional interest I would love to see something happen on this front happen in Peru.

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