How Many Years to Buy a Copy of WinXP?

Boing Boing had a link to this article about the “case for open source in developing countries”:

http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_12/ghosh/index.html

If I understand correctly, an average Pakistani would have to work approximately 16 months to be able to afford a Microsoft license for Windows XP, while an Ethiopian would require about 71 months (or 6 years). If you include the price of even a used, low-spec PC, then I doubt anyone with legitimate income can get online. Even after special discounts from Microsoft, why should they have to starve a couple of months just to be able to use a PC and yet have the system crash or become infected every so often? (to those that say WinXP doesn’t crash and is more secure, it’s not what I’ve heard from others or experienced myself).

Yes, I do have a personal interest in promoting open source, but you can’t deny the evidence supporting it’s superiority. I still keep bumping into people (and technical people at that, not just the average granny) who think Linux is all command-line based and difficult to use or that it only supports server h@rdware.I agree that it isn’t yet perfect, but it has come a long way.

Here in Pakistan, piracy is rampant (the official figure is 83%, but I suspect that’s only for corporations and the government) and the most logical way of bringing it down is through extensive use of open source.

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