[Linux-aus] [link] Open source helps education effort in ThirdWorld

Arjen Lentz arjen at mysql.com
Tue Sep 16 06:31:07 UTC 2003

Hi Jason,

On Tue, 2003-09-16 at 04:20, Jason Stokes wrote:
> Arjen Lentz wrote:
> > >From my angle -working for a commercial Open Source vendor- we make
> > money and we grow well, like a healthy company. It does not hurt to sell
> > software products (much) cheaper in appropriate situations, it's only
> > virtual bits, not steel nuts & bolts. Actually, I did the same with my
> > own shareware over 10 years ago.... so nothing new, really ;-)
> I can easily envisage Microsoft licensing software at super-cheap prices
> specifically for the African market, driving out open source
> alternatives.  The price can be raised later, after the IT economy of
> these countries develops and after dependence on Microsoft
> infrastructure is certain.  It could even be promoted as a progressive,
> charitable act: "Microsoft makes software affordable in third world!"

That is indeed a possibility. But considering that that tack
-increasingly- fails to work even in Microsoft's traditional "home
grounds"... prospective buyers appear to be fairly aware now that
they're being offered "a sigar from their own box".

Also, new Microsoft stuff does not run so well on not-so-brandnew
computers. So, any offers from Microsoft would probably have to include
a hardware component too.... giving away the computers with the software
deal. That becomes a rather big "investment" across a lot of different
countries and markets.

We already knew such offers are dodgy and bad in the long term, now
others realise it too. So, it may even backfire and make Microsoft look
very bad. People tend to not take kindly to being offered charity "that
isn't". Particularly in Africa. They've had so much of that in the past,
they do know a scam when they see it.... ;-)

Of course, we do need to keep up our efforts of making and maintaining
contacts internationally. I think it's very much a long-term process,
with little positive steps every day.

Arjen Lentz, Technical Writer, Trainer
Brisbane, QLD Australia
MySQL AB, www.mysql.com

Brisbane 3 November (5 days): Using & Managing MySQL Training
Training,Support,Licenses,T-shirts @ https://order.mysql.com/?marl

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