I had gone to Islamabad’s Blue Area today to buy a new power supply for my PC and was surprised to find a number of shops displaying signs such as this one. This sign says:
we strongly protest against Microsoft’s abuses
Though I can’t find much info on what this could be in response to, it is likely that Microsoft, through the Business Software Alliance (BSA), has been aggressive in going after businesses and individuals that use its software without purchasing a license.
Given that most Pakistanis are used to buying all the software they require for almost the price of a blank CD, this must be hitting the PC market pretty hard. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t find a decent PSU and there wasn’t much of other gadgets and accessories either.
If software licensing really is being strictly enforced now, it may look like the end to cheap computers technology in Pakistan, but I see it as a positive sign. Only today, a chartered accountant friend of mine was curious about installing Ubuntu just to try it out and have a second operating system around.
Though a growing number of students these days have some level of passion and respect for Linux and open source, now is probably the time for average Pakistanis to realize the true value of these as alternatives to more traditional software.