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Political and economic factors will drive Linux adoption in developing countries

Political and economic factors will drive Linux and open-source software adoption in developing countries, a supplier association has claimed.

Governments want greater control over the software used to solve critical IT problems, therefore they will embrace open-source software instead of proprietary software, according to Jon Hall, executive director of Linux International.

Linux International is a non-profit computer supplier association, which supports and promotes the Linux operating system.

Users want to protect themselves from risks such as software suppliers going out of business, application licensing rule changes and political issues such as trade sanctions, Hall said. Open-source software gives users free access to its source code, enabling them to avoid such risks, he added.

Open-source software grants users in developing countries access to quality software while saving them money, said Hall. Paying for proprietary software requires sending funds to another country while open-source applications are free on the internet.

Proprietary software, unlike open-source software, cannot be tailored to every user requirement, Hall said, adding that the open-source model can develop a local software industry, leading to job creation.

Hall also pointed out that several open-source projects in Africa would have been impossible if users had to pay for proprietary software.

John Ribeiro writes for IDG News Service


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