The markets of the next 100 years are India and China. Microsoft and Corporate software is way too expensive for these people. The markets of India and China and the East are rich in human resources. Mix that with computers and they will explode.
But under a completely different paradigm that the West. In Sri Lanka, for example I don’t know where to go to buy a ‘legal’ CD or software. It’s just not done.
There is no intellectual property in the East, and we’re not criminals. It’s just a different economic paradigm. I think the start of this paradigm shift is the adoption of Open-Source software to replace Microsoft. Open-Source is free software like Linux (Microsoft’s competitor). It’s free to use, and it’s free to modify. The code is free.
Scores of national and state governments have drafted legislation calling for open-source software to be given preferential treatment in procurement. Brazil, for instance, is preparing to recommend that all its government agencies and state enterprises buy open source.
Other countries are funding open-source software initiatives outright. China has been working on a local version of Linux for years, on the grounds of national self-sufficiency, security and to avoid being too dependent on a single foreign supplier. Politicians in India have called on its vast army of programmers to develop open-source products for the same reasons. This month, Japan said it would collaborate with China and South Korea to develop open-source alternatives to Microsoft’s software. Japan has already allocated ¥1 billion ($9m) to the project.
This is a quote from an insightful FAQ on Open-Source Software, like what it is and stuff.
God, Government, Market and Community
There are millions who have been waiting for generations for their lot to improve. Religion has promised them a better afterlife, but no god has seen fit to improve their present one. In a world where socialism has been humiliatingly defeated, governments seem ashamed to spend money on development. Everyone now seems to believe that governments must be self-effacingly small. The market is now the politically correct way to solve all problems. But the market, as we have seen, doesn’t recognise the existence of those who have nothing to offer as suppliers and nothing to pay as consumers. They are invisible people.
Therefore it falls to the miserable to improve their lot themselves. Given the tools, they can raise themselves out of their situation. They will then enter the market, which will wholeheartedly welcome them (though it hadn’t the foresight to help them enter it in the first place).
Where will such tools come from? In a world where intellectual property has such vociferous defenders that people must be forced to pay for software, information technology widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots, a phenomenon known as the digital divide. If producers of software deserve to be paid, then that means hundreds of thousands of people will never have access to that software. That’s a fair market, but a lousy community.
Open Source is doing what god, government and market have failed to do. It is putting powerful technology within the reach of cash-poor but idea-rich people. Analysts could quibble about whether that is creating or merely releasing value, but we could do with a bit of either.
And yes, that is revolutionary.