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Open Source's Battle In Africa

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the soak-em-for-all-they-are-worth dept.

Microsoft 172

eldavojohn writes "The BBC has more details about something we last discussed in 2008 — the showdown of open source versus proprietary software in Africa. When discussing the issue of cost, the piece quotes Microsoft's chairman on the scene, Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra, who alludes that open source continually costs you money by saying 'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.' On the other end of the story is Ken Banks from Kiwanja.net who has spent 15 years developing open source applications in Africa. His logic is that 'Today we're seeing growing open-source programmer, developer communities in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries. Clearly, if you have this informal programming sector coming up, access to source code is almost critical if they are going to be able to take advantage of these new tools that are emerging.' Well, the battle rages on, hopefully the emerging African developers and users pick the tool(s) that suit their needs the best."

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Africa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971465)

A 10 cent piece of jewelry can cost you $500 if you are stupid enough.

Developers in Africa? (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971467)

Come on, everybody knows that there are no developers in Africa [thedailywtf.com] . It must be Nigerian scam!

Re:Developers in Africa? (-1, Troll)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972375)

Everyone also knows they don't need any because they have Ungabunga Linux that does everything for free.

Re:Developers in Africa? (3, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973197)

No developers in Africa? Where do they send their film?

Has sheikh diarrhea given some thought to (0, Troll)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971471)

the fact that most computers in africa can't even run most proprietary software ? Let alone windows vista.

Although importing new netbooks is only a tiny little bit more expensive than sending used computers there.

Hey, be nice to Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra (5, Funny)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972343)

He was kind enough to set me up, via email, with a very lucrative business deal where I stand to make huge profits.
Of course, my upfront costs keep mounting, but he assured me when he asked for my account numbers that the funds will shortly be directly deposited to my bank.

Oh great (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971481)

Oh yeah, that's exactly what they need in Nigeria--more programming skills.

Sure! (5, Insightful)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971495)

"'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'"

And then Microsoft stops supporting the product, changes the formats the products uses, and makes prior formats erratic or impossible to implement. It's a good thing you'll enjoy your purchase of brand new software, because you'll be doing it again and again and again.

Or, you can go the Open Source route, which is continually and freely developed, usually for free-as-in-beer, and respects its own history. And if development stops, it's usually because some better Open Source project forked off or replaced it.

Better as in "it performs a better job," not better as in "we'd better release a new version to keep our market share."

Re:Sure! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971677)

As somebody who currently keeps the paychecks coming by being there when the software that my employer "bought once and for all" breaks in various horrible ways; I can tell you that "the cost that we tell you" is very much not the "total cost of ownership".

Re:Sure! (2, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971967)

Exactly. Doctor Diarrea is an idiot. I'm going to have to buy Windows 7 to fix bugs in Vista that make it almost worthless (i.e. constantly having to unplug my router and reboot the machine because windows is screwing around (my Linux machine has no such problems.)

Re:Sure! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972341)

How do you know the problem is Vista's, and not say, the drives for your network card, or the physical card itself even?

Keep in in context (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973897)

As somebody who currently keeps the paychecks coming by being there when the software that my employer "bought once and for all" breaks in various horrible ways; I can tell you that "the cost that we tell you" is very much not the "total cost of ownership".

What he MEANT was that in Africa, you don't have the BSA, so you don't have to worry about surprise audits, keeping track of licensing, and fees for not doing so. See, he wasn't lying!

Re:Sure! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971933)

You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all

Really? I finally have a senior Microsoft employee saying I BOUGHT MY SOFTWARE!!!!!

For years Microsoft has claimed the software is licensed, not sold, to skirt the laws on selling of products, along with all the EULA crap.

I'm going to have to quote Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra next time a Microsoft sales rep calls.

Re:Sure! (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971965)

Consider also the cost of training. Consider potential workers, one who has paid somehow for commercial software and training, one who has trained him or herself with the help of the community and access to everything for free. Who costs more to train? Who do you think will be willing to work for less as a new hire?

Consider the inconsistencies of Windows' interface and the registry, versus the consistency of the command line, everything's a file, text based configuration.

Consider the existence of open source multilingual support, versus commercially available support. If multilingual support isn't available in a commercial program, how will you get it?

I don't think Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra is being entirely honest with his countrymen.

Re:Sure! (5, Insightful)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972673)

Also consider the cost of test systems! Oh, how I bemoan the lack of test systems when license fees prevent me from having a production-like system.

I never anticipated the death-by-a-thousand-papercuts mode of inoperation I would experience when moving from a linux to an MS shop. Really, you can't even legally run the OS on a VM without appropriate licensing. When you run commercial/proprietary, you run costly.

Re:Sure! (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972811)

I don't think Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra is being entirely honest with his countrymen.

Of course he isn't. He's an executive. That's in his job description... "Lie to sell" is right after "Dispose of any moral qualms" on the list of qualifications.

Re:Sure! (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972113)

And then Microsoft stops supporting the product, changes the formats the products uses, and makes prior formats erratic or impossible to implement.

It's ironic that he stated "Technology wise, African needs can be summarised in one word: access" because keeping older MS-Access versions working is one of the trickiest parts in a Microsoft solution.

Although I'm a Linux-only programmer, I've had several people where I work ask me for solutions to recover lost MS-Access databases. "I only use Postgres, call Microsoft support" is my standard answer. Normally when they do that the answer is that MS-Access does not have sophisticated data recovery tools, they must buy that from third-party vendors. "Total" cost of ownership, indeed!

Re:Sure! (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972425)

I've run into Access users in Africa who were hitting some limits and getting severely degraded performance. Sometimes (when appropriate) I suggest Postgres, but a common problem is that the people using Access don't have reliable Internet access (this is improving and certainly some parts of Africa are better than others in this regard) and would have a hard time obtaining Postgres because of this. The big advantage of Microsoft is that you can buy it on a disk.

Contact Canonical (4, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972635)

The big advantage of Microsoft is that you can buy it on a disk.

The big advantage of Ubuntu is that Canonical will send you, free of charge, an entire Operating System [ubuntu.com] , complete with application stacks, on a DVD if you ask.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:Contact Canonical (1, Interesting)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972907)

Good to know, but I can't seem to find a package list of what, exactly, comes on those disks so it's difficult for me to determine just how relevant that is (new installations aside where it's somewhere between "fantastic" and "no down side" but I tend not to encounter these on my trips). Googling Ubuntu CD package list doesn't help either. Also, 10 weeks delivery time? The price is right, but if you need something now, advantage still goes to MS (or bootleg MS).

Re:Contact Canonical (2, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973179)

> I can't seem to find a package list of what, exactly, comes on those disks

Mirrors where the disk can be downloaded, should usually contain .list file where you can see this information. E.g.:

http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/ubuntu-cdimage/releases/jaunty/release/ubuntu-9.04-dvd-i386.list [heanet.ie]

> 6-10 weeks delivery time? The price is right, but if you need something now

You could perhaps download CD or DVD image and burn it yourself for those who need it? You don't have to order it.

Re:Contact Canonical (2, Interesting)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973237)

You could perhaps download CD or DVD image and burn it yourself for those who need it? You don't have to order it.

This is what I do now. Travel with a laptop, a bunch of blank discs, and a set of commonly useful packages. (a mix of Windows binary/source packages and Linux, but lighter distros that run well on the typically older hardware I run into.) Doesn't help people I don't happen to meet, but every little bit helps, right?

Re:Sure! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972841)

You can get Ubuntu, or many other distributions, to ship you a disk free of charge, or for minimal cost. Much cheaper than buying a legitimate version of Access. But they aren't buying legit versions, are they?

Re:Sure! (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972193)

And then Microsoft stops supporting the product, changes the formats the products uses, and makes prior formats erratic or impossible to implement. It's a good thing you'll enjoy your purchase of brand new software, because you'll be doing it again and again and again.

Or, after reformatting your HDD because of a virus attack or the HDD simply failing you'll have to call Microsoft to reactivate, and they'll tell something like "sorry, we don't support your software" and refuse to activate.

Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot (2, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972221)

Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot by insisting that governments in Third World countries enforce their copyright. My brother-in-law is a civil engineer in Peru, makes about $5,000/year. If he spends $500 on a computer he's not going to want to spend another $300 on an OS and $300 more on MS Orfice. If he can get one for free (cracked) he'd pay for the other, but there's no way he can afford both.

Instead he'll end up with Linux and Open Office if the gov't cracks down on pirates, and MS will be entirely out of the picture.

Re:Sure! (1)

VV Cephei (1505407) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972569)

I disagree. My Windows 95 machine is still operating wonderfully. I sure am glad that I bought it once and for all. I would hate to have bi-yearly operating system upgrades that make my computer better, more secure, and faster. Thanks, Microsoft!

Re:Sure! (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972885)

While I call bullshit on the MS statement, I also call bullshit on your statements for being the exact same level of crap.

Eventually everyone stops supporting old versions of software. Show me a Linux distro thats supported as long after EOL as Windows, go ahead, I'll wait.

I can show you FAR more open source projects that came, were cool/awesome, and have gone cause no one develops them anymore and no one cares about their formats. I can probably show you a handful that have done all of that life cycle in the time that XP has been on the market.

Trying to claim that OSS is 'free' is also as stupid as MS's statement. Purchasing a software package from Microsoft or installing a freely distributed Linux distro is not the total cost. For those of us who actually manage business aspects for a living, things like paying your admins count against the TCO, as part of the, you know, TOTAL part. Both you and MS are full of shit if you're trying to say that what you 'pay' to get the software legally installed on a machine is the total cost of ownership.

Software that is 'continually and freely developed' is a pain in the ass to any real business. Its great that you can get a linux update every day just about, thats neat and cool when you're sitting in dad's basement bored and lonely on a Friday night. You have fun updating your box. I on the other hand will do something else because I'm not constantly tracking changes and praying to god that those changes don't break something in the process.

Your post indicates you aren't a sysadmin, or haven't been a sysadmin for any systems that actually needed to be reliable.

Re:Sure! (0, Flamebait)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973053)

Its great that you can get a linux update every day just about, thats neat and cool when you're sitting in dad's basement bored and lonely on a Friday night. You have fun updating your box. I on the other hand will do something else because I'm not constantly tracking changes and praying to god that those changes don't break something in the process.

When you say "doing something else", you do of course mean "being acquired by a botnet through a security hole that hasn't been patched because you don't like to do pesky updates", correct?

Re:Sure! (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973535)

Can we please let this old BS die, please? I'm gonna get flamed for this, but who cares. The GP is an admin and dealing with business clients and therefor most likely has a brain. You know why folks become spambots, so do I, and so does he. It is because they run IE as full admin and click on every damned thing on the Internet. If you put those morons on Linux or Mac there would be "Hot_Lesbos.SH" and "Horny_Tenn.DMG" flooding the net within days. Stupid is as stupid does. I have plenty of business clients running as admin at work and home. Not a single bug. Why? Because they don't go to pron sites, they don't go to warez sits, they don't use IE and they don't click on every damned thing on the Internet, that's why.

If you are dealing with Forest Gump users you put them as regular users. Boom, problem solved. And I don't have to deal with the support nightmare that is the fact that pretty much every printer in Walmart don't work in Linux. Geeks like to do research, customers shop at Walmart or Staples or Best Buy based on price. Expecting them to do research just to buy a printer is stupid. So while each OS has its place (Linux makes a damned good low maintenance server, a properly admined Windows makes a better desktop) trying to spread the "all Windows machines are part of botnets" FUD is just as lame as MSFT with it's "get the facts" campaign.

The quicker the Linux community admits there are some things that Windows is better at, the sooner they can make up the deficit and give users real choice. But the "spambot" FUD simply won't work as the users most likely to be spambots are also the ones most likely to have hardware that won't work in Linux. Frankly they'd be better off as a regular user in XP where their hardware would actually work. That is why Mac gained share during the Vista suckfest and Linux stayed non existent. Because for the average user it was cheaper to buy a Mac than deal with all the research and BS to get Linux going in their homes. Sorry.

"all Windows machines are part of botnets" FUD (1)

TropicalCoder (898500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974357)

I don't think anybody said all Windows machines are part of botnets, but millions upon millions are, so I would't call "FUD" here. In fact, when choosing an operating system it may be wise to consider what percent of all attacks/exploits/viruses/phishing attacks or what have you are targeting a given OS. If, for example, your research tells you that there 97% of all attacks are targeting platform A, and 2.5% of all attacks target platform B, and only 0.5% target platform C, then it may be a good idea to buy into platform B or C, as platform A in this example would be just asking for trouble. Now I would simply call this good, common sense advice, not FUD.

Now someone may argue that it is not entirely fair to blame Microsoft's operating systems for this problem. Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that we happen to have a very unhealthy monoculture of Microsoft OSes, so they became a magnet for malware developers. We can't blame Microsoft for the fact that they build the most popular operating systems in the world - oh wait - perhaps it is their monopolistic anti-competitive practises and lock-in that made theirs the most popular operating system in the world, and the fact that it is now the most targeted platform in the world is all their chickens coming home to roost.

Re:Sure! (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973657)

If that were true, my annoyance with nvu would have resulted in a satisfying switch to Komposer. The reality is that Komposer is just as annoying and I am back to using n++ and hand-coding web pages.

I suppose the good news is that none of the proprietary WYSI[almost]WYG html editors are any better than the open-source ones.

You buy it once? (5, Informative)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971519)

"'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.' "

Yeah, like phasing out support for older OS's. And putting in new formats for the next Office iteration. I had to buy the new Office for home because those who upgraded never remember to downgrade. Not to mention that if you don't have a service contract you pay $X (I forget the number) per service call. I'm sure there are more instances of how "buy once, this is TCO" is wrong, but I'm not up to date on MS's current procedures.

What's the cost of OSS? Learning curve? Like Office 2007 didn't cause most people fits when it was released? I don't use Linux, so I'm no fanboy, but that statement was just ridiculous.

(Oh, and I graduate with my MIS degree tonight! Sorry, just happy.)

Re:You buy it once? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971609)

Oh, and I graduate with my MIS degree tonight!

Hats off to you. Enjoy your unemployment and food stamps.

Re:You buy it once? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972887)

Honestly what Degree can you get a job at today.
A Teaching Degree or an MD. That is about it. The rest will require to actually look for jobs.

After you graduate (or right before you do so) you main job is to find a job. If you put resources in finding a job like you put in a normal job and try different outlets. Chances are even in a Bad economy you can get a job in a few months.

Re:You buy it once? (2)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971675)

Oh, and I graduate with my MIS degree tonight! Sorry, just happy.

I initially read that as "I graduate with my MS degree tonight," and was wondering why you were so happy...

I don't use Linux, so I'm no fanboy...

Any particular reason why you don't? (I'm always curious)

Re:You buy it once? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972223)

And putting in new formats for the next Office iteration. I had to buy the new Office for home because those who upgraded never remember to downgrade.

That may have been the case in the past, but with Office 2007 Microsoft released a very good free file conversion tool for older versions of office.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en [microsoft.com]

In fact, the file converter is so good that my company feels no reason to upgrade to Office 2007 (not to mention the learning curve with the new interface).

Re:You buy it once? (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972983)

Show me a linux distro that is supported as long after EOL as any version of Windows since 3.1. I won't claim before 3.1 as I don't have any experience with support for older versions. Ubuntu's current page says 9.04 is supported till 2010. 8.04 until 2011, not real sure why the old version has longer support than the new version, but considering the trend is for shorter support lifetimes, not longer then I think you've got a losing argument.

XP is scheduled for security patches till 2014.

Whats the cost of OSS? Learning curve, finding support when you need it, finding consultants who actually understand the software but have the time to deal with you. Theres a bunch of shit that you've never experienced. You'll learn this, as most MIS grads do, that what they taught you is almost but not quite completely worthless in the real world. Professors are on a different planet and do not have to play by the same rules as the rest of the world, the rest of the world as a general rule fires old worthless employees. Professors get tenure and become less useful and less in touch over time.

You compare paying for support from Microsoft with paying for support from who for your OSS? Hmmm?

You're post is that of a typical college graduate. Great on paper, dumb as shit to anyone who actually works in the real world. I'm afraid you're going to find MIS isn't anything like you've been lead to believe. Its not about sitting around in your dorm room jerking off to your package updates, its about making the business work efficiently. Just because you see the price of OSS is cheaper in one way doesn't mean its actually cheaper overall.

Go ahead and convert your entire company to OpenOffice, and enjoy the customers you lose because you can't send them a Word doc that doesn't look like shit when they open it in Word. Explain to them how you promote open formats and free software, they'll care, really.

You may not use Linux, but you are most certainly an inexperienced fanboy.

Re:You buy it once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973767)

You're post is that of a typical college graduate. Great on paper, dumb as shit to anyone who actually works in the real world.

Your post is that of a typical Microsoft shill. Great in Redmond, dumb as shit to anyone who actually works with both Windows and Linux in the real world.

Re:You buy it once? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973093)

I had to buy the new Office for home because those who upgraded never remember to downgrade.

Ooops. You could've just downloaded a free MS reader/converter from Microsoft. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/HA010449811033.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:You buy it once? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973475)

Yeah, like phasing out support for older OS's. And putting in new formats for the next Office iteration.

support for any aging OS or app demands a serious commitment of time and resources - nothing comes free even in FOSS.

the components and focus of an office suite change over time. it's place within the office as a working environment also changes over time.

the geek obsesses over file formats.

file formats are a diversion.

what I see in the office are documents. in print or on display. most are ephemeral. most are internal - and the most sensitive are filed encrypted.

meaning that the geek will have a much bigger problem on his plate than reconstructing the .doc format - if, let us say, - ten years down the road he want to understand the surprises which unfolded at the big meeting here last night.

Like Office 2007 didn't cause most people fits when it was released?

Office 2007 is beyond question the most successful roll-out Microsoft has had in years.

 

Cost of ownership? (4, Funny)

Bellegante (1519683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971557)

The total cost of a windows box, the entire cost of ownership, is the up front cost of the MS software? Really?

Jesus, I've been a fool for using Linux on my personal systems. Why, considering all the man hours I've put into it, I would have saved virtually hundreds of dollars by paying for a quality Microsoft product!

I'm going to run out right away and buy a new operating system! Looking forward to never having to configure anything, and having a bug free system that does everything I want!

(Mods - Joke. Really.)

Re:Cost of ownership? (4, Funny)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971709)

So you are getting a mac then?

Re:Cost of ownership? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972213)

So you are getting a mac then?

Or a PDP-11 or microVAX. After all, troff never crashed on me...
Hell, for reliability, the PDP-8 was excellent for me - not one single crash, ever. It just lacked graphics (damn paper tape).

Re:Cost of ownership? (1)

Xarvh (1244438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973613)

"Everything *I* want" != "Everything *Mr.Jobs* wants"

Re:Cost of ownership? (4, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971881)

Why, considering all the man hours I've put into it, I would have saved virtually hundreds of dollars by paying for a quality Microsoft product!

I can virtually gurantee that all those man hours you've put it in will yield benefits for years to come, many of which may not readily apparent. Unix Text Processing, for example, was first published in 1987. If you had read that book way back then, or read it for the first time last week, you can put the knowledge to good use on your new Ubuntu system.

By contrast, a seasoned Windows admin is typically someone who's amassed a stale collection of trivia consisting of GUI shortcuts, registry edits, familiarity with utilities provided by someone other than Microsoft to accomplish ordinary things, a mental list of workarounds for things that never seem to work right, and memories of DOS that just won't go away. If he's really good, he'll be able to cite KB numbers.

Re:Cost of ownership? (4, Insightful)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971947)

By contrast, a seasoned Windows admin is typically someone who's amassed a stale collection of trivia consisting of GUI shortcuts, registry edits, familiarity with utilities provided by someone other than Microsoft to accomplish ordinary things, a mental list of workarounds for things that never seem to work right, and memories of DOS that just won't go away. If he's really good, he'll be able to cite KB numbers.

In my experience, solving Windows problems involves a lot of bottle shaking. Solving problems on Unix-like platforms typically rewards logical thinking and expecting that the computer will do what you tell it to do (the trick is learning how to be specific).

Re:Cost of ownership? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973421)

In my experience, solving Windows problems involves a lot of bottle shaking.

Naturally, as a Windows developer, I always have a bottle handy. But I'm unclear as to how shaking the Jack Daniels is supposed to help...

- T

Re:Cost of ownership? (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973017)

Considering that pretty much every tool for unix exists on Windows, then I'd say that anything you learn on Ubuntu, Solaris, Linux, *BSD, SCO, HPUX and whatever other unix you care to use is going to be useful in windows as well to some extent.

System specifics won't be, but system specifics for SunOS4 aren't real useful to a SUSE user either.

Everything you claim as something a 'seasoned Windows admin' as amassed has the same sort of thing with a UNIX like OS. symlink hacks, /etc file edits, familiarity with utilities provided by someone other than the OS vendor to accomplish ordinary things, a mental list of workaround for things that never seem to work right, memories of old kernel options and hacks.

Nothing you've said is unique to Windows or UNIX, they are shared between both.

Being a fanboy really does make you look like a douchebag to anyone with a clue.

Re:Cost of ownership? (1)

hendrikboom (1001110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974239)

Except that with Linux the utilities provided by someone other than the OS vendor are included with the OS.

Re:Cost of ownership? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Struct (660658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973183)

Second that. I always felt like Unix tools were generally like lego blocks. Once you learn how they go together, you can build pretty much anything you need. Ten years from now, all the lego blocks you've accumulated still work with your new lego blocks, and you can keep using them over and over. By contrast, Windows tools are generally like die cast toys. That matchbox car is pretty awesome at being a little metal car, but if you want an airplane, you just have to save up your allowance and go buy one (well, unless it happens to be the kind of matchbox car where the doors open - then you can pretend they're wings if you have a good imagination).

Windows is all about giving you a fish, and Unix is all about teaching you to fish.

Re:Cost of ownership? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972013)

I would have saved virtually hundreds of dollars by paying for a quality Microsoft product!

Indeed you could have... If Microsoft had any quality products to sell.

Actually, that's not fair of me. I have a Microsoft mouse that probably still works to this day. It's just not optical and doesn't have a scroll wheel.

Re:Cost of ownership? (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972587)

Actually, that's not fair of me. I have a Microsoft mouse that probably still works to this day. It's just not optical and doesn't have a scroll wheel.

I have an optical MS mouse with scroll wheel and two side buttons, which serve as "change grenade type" and "womp" in Halo, and "browser forward" and "browser back" on the web.

It has served me well for many years already AND works great in Ubuntu. Thanks, Microsoft! :)

Re:Cost of ownership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972931)

Intellimouse Optical?

Best peripheral I ever bought, never had a problem with it and its probably 7-8 years old now.

Can't say the same for their software though.

MS Hardware (1)

CZakalwe (1444421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973119)

Same here, they could get some things right from time to time, just not in software!

Misleading statement (0, Redundant)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971579)

Dr Cheikh Modibo Diarra, stated 'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.' This is very misleading, as the "cost" is a combination of this, plus the support. You are then at the mercy of Microsofts schedule for repairs, updates, and if they consider your problem worth the effort to correct. This can be very costly in direct dollars in downtime and productivity. I can imagine an office going down due to a language package error, actually I don't have to. I have seen a language pack that broke an entire office due to a system update which was incompatible with some element within. And you then sit waiting for a week for someone, somewhere to apply a fix. This is not an issue with open source, as you then have access to every bit of the system, including the source code. A weeks downtime, for a "one time cost" or back up in an hour for a variable cost, your choice.

Re:Misleading statement (2, Insightful)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971803)

This assumes that you have the skills to correct the problem yourself. Otherwise you are still waiting for someone somewhere to fix the problem.

The choice is either pay for support to someone (either microsoft or redhat/IBM/other *nix vendor) or you get the software (open source or you buy it) and hope you do not have an issue. Many people think that if they pay for software they will get support from the vendor. This may or may not be true, depends on the software. With open source most people think that you are on your own. You cannot dial a phone number and get help.

Many have bought software and not had an issue. The same is true with open source software. It is the individual accounts of problems that skew one's opinion.

To sum it up: we should always look at as many options as possible. Then pick the best tool for the job at hand.

Of Course You Only Buy It Once (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971585)

You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all

Of course you only buy it once. By the time the next version comes out it is so bloated, full of new DRM, in need of new video cards to handle the latest DirectX version, and just plain overall inefficient, that you need a new system to run it - which unavoidably comes with the next version of Windows preloaded.

Per processor licensing should have been banned long ago.

Re:Of Course You Only Buy It Once (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972083)

Wow, is this the kind of bullshit that gets modded insightful on slashdot?

"So bloated, full of new DRM, in need of new video cards to handle the latest DirectX version..."

This isn't 2006, you're allowed to open your eyes and actually try the software you buy before bashing it. Vista isn't "bloated" and doesn't require a new machine to use it (Unless your machine is about 10 years old, in which case you should probably upgrade anyway). Benchmarks show it is faster than XP with SP1 installed.

Furthermore the DRM changes NOTHING. It only performs checks when you attempt to load DRM'd content and doesn't slow the OS down in any way otherwise. And guess what? It doesn't prevent you from seeing any current content at all, only content that you wouldn't have been able to watch on XP anyway.

People need to wake the fuck up.

Re:Of Course You Only Buy It Once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27974409)

Must not feed the trolls...must not feed the trolls...*continues to repeat*

Per processor licensing (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972303)

We're about to see the end of per-processor licensing, so you may get your wish.

They're moving to per-core and per-VM now. That makes much better sense.

Silver lining if MS wins in Nigeria (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971607)

Does that mean only MS users will get spam from Nigeria?

Re:Silver lining if MS wins in Nigeria (2, Funny)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972523)

Yes, but not *just* spam. They will also get new friends with dead uncles!

Deceptive story (2, Informative)

amilo100 (1345883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971629)

Hmmm... The article is a bit misleading.

In Africa, Microsoft faces strong competition from open-source software in particular the Linux operating system. Many use that and run run free counterparts to the Microsoft Office suite.

This is completely deceptive. The only people I know who runs Linux are students, programmers or web hosts. Run of the mill people do not use Linux at all. OpenOffice on Windows is used a little bit more often â" usually by people who cannot get a pirated version of MS Office.

There really is not incentive to use non-MS products. MS gives away all its software to university students and windows for the classrooms.

Microsoft's biggest competitor is pirated Microsoft software.

Re:Deceptive story (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971911)

There really is not incentive to use non-MS products. MS gives away all its software to university students and windows for the classrooms.

You mean aside from getting your students to learn how to work a computer in general concepts instead of just how to work MS Office $CURRENT_YEAR? Not to mention learning a variety of tools and software they can actually use legally for free once they graduate and are no longer students.

Re:Deceptive story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972279)

General concepts can be taught just as well on OpenOffice as on Office 2003/2007. Either way in both cases you're going to learn how to work "MS/Sun [Open]Office [2003/2007]", the open source solution isn't any better - you're still going to need retraining if you go from Office to OpenOffice or from OpenOffice to Office.

Re:Deceptive story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27974151)

But wouldn't teaching general concepts eliminate the need for retraining?

It sounds like you're either confused or that you believe most people are incapable of thinking their way out of a wet paper bag. If the latter, retraining probably isn't the right answer.

Re:Deceptive story (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972041)

Run of the mill people do not use Linux at all.

Linux isn't the issue here. Its a possibility, after all, Ubuntu may sounds less forigen than Windows or Macintosh. If you use Open Office, Office is not given away anywhere. This is more about a self sufficient Africa. African countries with a technology company can help support an economy, a school can teach students without having to be an accredited University. While they teach students about computers, they can see how the parts fit together, software and Hardware.

Re:Deceptive story (1)

amilo100 (1345883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972851)

Ubuntu may sounds less forigen than Windows or Macintosh.

I am sure that a bit of stereotyping never hurt anybody ;)

If you use Open Office, Office is not given away anywhere.

As far as I know (this may have changed) Office is given away to secondary schools (I don't know if this is in all African countries however). All university students get their software under Microsoft Academic Alliance â" this includes all software (except games and Office). Office was available until recently under MAA. Now it is generally available under a âoePirate licenceâ.

This is more about a self sufficient Africa.

It is about Africa using the best software that is available. Why should Africa (or the 3rd world in general) be the guinea pig for open source software? Maybe we would like to use the same software that other countries use (whether open source or not)? Most 1st world countries are not âoeself-sufficientâ in its software (since the most popular software is manufactured in the USA, etc...). Yet it does not seem to hold those countries back.

African countries with a technology company can help support an economy,

There are already quite a few âoetechnology companiesâ. The question is: will they be better served by recreating software that is either given away free, pirated or already open source or will it be better for them to build technological products for the export market?

Africa already has quite a few well developed technology companies and is not as backward as many people like to think.

a school can teach students without having to be an accredited University.

Schools pretty much get all the software they need for (to use a less foreign sounding word) mahala (free).

While they teach students about computers, they can see how the parts fit together, software and Hardware.

The biggest problem (in my country at least) is the shortage of competent teachers, of hardware, people managing computer labs and wholesale theft of computer labs.

Re:Deceptive story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972161)

Microsoft's biggest competitor is pirated Microsoft software.

That's not competition. That's advertising.

As usual, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972685)

Free MS software is like free cigarettes. Microsoft's advantage is lock-in with OEM's and bribes. Plenty of idiots use computers and most people probably don't even know what the windows are. Microsoft success in Africa in today's world of OSS options will be a good measure of the level of corruption by those government.

Doesn't Ubuntu own Africa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971651)

Open source in Africa? How much open source? How much purchased Microsoft? How much pirated Microsoft?

I bet Open Source + Pirated Microsoft >> Purchased Microsoft.

I guess (but can't prove) Open Source > Purchased Microsoft.

Maybe even Ubuntu > Purchased Microsoft.

Certainly Ubuntu developers in Africa > Microsoft developers in Africa.

That's amazing (4, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971749)

'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'

Wow. So all that money that we're spending hiring administrators, paying for software support and beating applications with a crowbar until they run properly is _completely unnecessary!_ I have been such a fool for all of these years. All I needed to do was pay the sticker price for a copy of Windows Server and that would have been enough for everything!

*cough cough cough* *mumble* *cough cough*

Re:That's amazing (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973037)

Yea, its a good thing you don't have to do the exact some thing for any other OS on the planet.

When you think about the cost of IT staff to support your desktops or servers, the cost of the OS, even from Microsoft is trivial and hardly worth ranting about.

Of course, fanboys gotta have something retarded to pick on.

Not that the MS statement was true, but pretending that its unique to MS.

If you're about to purchase an OS for any business purpose and the cost of the OS is a concern, then its likely you aren't working for any business that matters to Microsoft.

Re:That's amazing (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974199)

If, as you say, all operating systems are equal in cost, why should we subsidize Redmond?

Total Cost of Ownership (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27971775)

'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'

This just proves he's been listening to Microsoft too long. He's using Microsoft's favorite buzzword without even thinking whether his statement makes sense. The purchase price is not the total cost of ownership. Not even Microsoft is claiming that.

Even they will admit that TCO includes training and support. Microsoft's argument is that there are a lot more Microsoft-trained personnel than Linux-trained, so you don't have to train them yourself, or pay them as much because there are plenty of others with the same skill set willing to take their place. And technical support from Microsoft is free. But you still need to pay administrators or a whole IT dept, whether you buy Microsoft or Linux.

Only someone with a religious devotion to the Microsoft idealogy would claim that TCO only includes the purchase price.

To be fair, anyone who claims that Linux has no associated costs is just as much a zealot on the other side.

As for "you buy it once and for all," that's untrue. You buy it now, you buy it again when you want to put it on another computer, and then you buy it all over again, for all of those computers, when Microsoft tells you to upgrade. If you're big enough, you get a bulk discount. Depending upon how long it is between upgrade cycles, buying Microsoft still might be the cheaper option, but it's disingenuous to claim that you only have to buy it once.

Actually, if your point is that you only need to pay for it once, Linux still comes out ahead because you get it free, once and for all.

I haven't done any studies so I have no idea whether Microsoft or Linux has a higher TCO. But Dr. Diarra's statement is blatantly untrue.

Re:Total Cost of Ownership (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972219)

This just proves he's been listening to Microsoft too long. He's using Microsoft's favorite buzzword without even thinking whether his statement makes sense. The purchase price is not the total cost of ownership. Not even Microsoft is claiming that.

Dude, please read TFA/S a little more closely.

Microsoft is claiming that. The person who said those words? Microsoft. A very high-ranking official in Microsoft's African operations.

He hasn't spent too long listening to Microsoft... he's spent too long being Microsoft.

Ownership? (3, Informative)

Amigan (25469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971809)

The last time I checked an M$ Eula, you don't actually own any code you pay for. you are actually paying a use license. M$ retains ownership rights to the software.

Re:Ownership? (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971939)

...unless you purchase a boxed copy of you MS product in a modern, civilized country, where shrink-wrapped EULAs aren't enforcable.

In that case, you actually OWN that box and the content and can do pretty much anything you want, except give away/sell copies of it (note: In some countries you CAN give away a copy of it, as long as you don't use the original!)

Cheers,
G

Re:Ownership? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972987)

The last time I checked an M$ Eula, you don't actually own any code you pay for. you are actually paying a use license. M$ retains ownership rights to the software.

Exactly. Total cost of ownership of Windows is zero. If there is no ownership, then there is no cost of ownership.

Hence, the TCO of a Windows install will always be less than or equal to the TCO of any competitor.

Nice trick, MS. I gotta give it to you, that was pretty clever.

Disclaimer: Definitions of "ownership" may vary (3, Informative)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27971877)

You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'

Whenever I hear someone in the U.S. say that, it's usually quickly followed by a Microsoft or BSA representative calling them to clarify that the term "ownership" means "we still own it, we're just giving you a license to use it, and if you want more, you will pay us more."

If this guy genuinely believes Microsoft products are a "buy once, own forever" proposition, I think he's in for a bit of a shock once the install base reaches critical mass.

Fine print (2)

Akir (878284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972011)

'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'

It was when he said this that the fine print started to appear:

* Price does not include technical support, which is free for the first two sessions, but USD $99 for further sessions (and per hour via telephone), the price of new computers you will have to buy to feed our bloated clock-cycle-consuming system, the costs of upgrades,, the extra cost of Office, or the rediculous amounts of money you'll need before we give you a look at the source code, which will require you to sign an NDA. Microsoft claims no responsibility for health issues caused by our OS, including, but not limited to, cranial damage you'll get after banging your head against the wall in frustration of our poorly-designed un-interoperable amalgamation of legacy support and psychosis caused by using our compulsory poorly-maintained virus-catching browser. Offer only good on Windows Vista Starter [wikipedia.org] .

Sounds like an easy choice for Africa.

Re:Fine print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973273)

Tell me that wasn't copypasta... Pretty awesome.

Difficult sell in the developing world (4, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972015)

Trying to promote Linux in places like Africa that are still working on their IT industries could be perceived as paternalistic. The sad, sad fact is that the majority of the western world uses MS Windows, and that if you try and say that despite this, African users should embrace Linux - it can come across as if you are fobbing them off with something second rate. You aren't, of course, but that isn't how the Microsoft Ministry of Truth is going to spin it.

The best way to promote Linux in developing markets is to promote it in developed markets. Countries that want to build their IT industry will, logically, look to how its done in countries with successful IT industries. Any increase in the Linux user base in the United States or Europe will be mirrored by an increase in much of the rest of the world.

Re:Difficult sell in the developing world (2, Interesting)

Le T800 (1137303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974051)

Well my employer is a native of Cameroon and we are planning to open an office there at the end of the year because there is a lot to do in this country: build intranets and IT infrastructures, transmit knowledge to techs etc.

Of course we will support existing Windows installations but for our internal IT and for most of our solutions we'll use Linux and FOSS software, mainly because of the opportunity to start things in a different way.

We also think that because migrating things, re-training people etc will be less often needed, the adoption of these solutions will be easier than it is in more developped countries where Microsoft dominates machines and minds.

About perception, I see a similitude between FOSS and developping countries in the sense that both of them are trying to gain a place in a world/market which has been conquered by others.

PS: outside the technical field my English is a bit approximative, thanks for your comprehension.

That guy is correct (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972055)

I bought Vista once, pirated XP twice, and now Kubuntu hasn't cost me anything!

MS products are cheap and they teach you a lot about Unix and FOSS philosophy!

More FUD (3, Insightful)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972065)

"You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership."

You can't really expect me to think that people in Africa are that fucking stupid to believe this line of bullshit...

Re:More FUD (0, Offtopic)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972363)

I decoded the secret message: "really fucking this"

Re:More FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27972379)

That's not FUD - that's bullshit. Subtle difference.

The Trivial Rebuttal (1)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972119)

Quoth Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra:

You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.

Now consider Microsoft Money, as reviewed by CNet [cnet.com] :

Unfortunately, you'll be forced to upgrade periodically if you rely upon either application's links to online financial institutions--that access expires every other year for Money and after every three versions for Quicken.

Most folks here knew the idea of "TCO is paid upfront" was disingenuous to say the least, for any software. There's training costs, upgrade costs ("our whole company just had to switch to Office 2007..."), and so forth. This is even true for open-source; just consider the time and energy spent by developers moving to new source control systems, ala CVS -> SVN -> (git,hg,bzr). But here, we also have the great fun of a bald-faced lie! So how many other MS products have explicit obsolescence logic?

you buy Microsoft software ? (3, Interesting)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972173)

You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership

You don't buy the software, you license it until the next version of Windows comes out and your software becomes incompatible with that, and your computer has virtually no resale value as the software has to be totally wiped else you risk a visit from the BSA. And according to Gartner the TCO [open-mag.com] for a company to support Windows was $9,784 per anum per computer (1997). You think it's come down in the mean while :)

Re:you buy Microsoft software ? (1)

McBeer (714119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972923)

And according to Gartner the TCO for a company to support Windows was $9,784 per anum per computer

Then Gartner is either bad at math or full of shit. You could buy a new Windows license every year and pay somebody $25/hour to work on every single machine individually for an hour every single day of the year and still not spend that much.
 
Windows, of course, costs more then the sticker price, but the amount you cited is just absurd. At that rate, the CS dept at the college I went to would be spending $2 million a year, the company I work for would be spending $1.2 million a year, and Microsoft would be spending well over $2 billion. It can easily be varified that none of those institutions spend even close to that.

The sad truth is ... (4, Interesting)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972183)

That only the government and the largest enterprises are buying software, all the rest is pirated.
So "Free/Open Source" software is at exactly the same price as "Closed Source" software.

And there is a sick fascination with "the rich people" although they became rich by ripping you off.
And the main supperiority of "Closed Source software" is that it gives more opportunity for "back door handlings"...

And of course the "donor organisations" are much better at recommending "nice donor nation originated products" than local "service"...

And thus the blood of africa is still flowing out to the occidental world...

My experience... (2, Interesting)

SFA_AOK (752620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972485)

I helped out in a school in Uganda that has ties with a school here in the UK, and they offer a Computing courses to their students. There are a number of problems open source faces that I could see:

1. The school teaches the UK curriculum; when I was last speaking with the person at the UK school who established the link with the Ugandan school, she'd said they'd had some new computers with Ubuntu installed on them shipped out but they didn't have the software expected by the board that set the curriculum they were teaching. Maybe that's the curriculum's fault, maybe it was a misunderstanding, either way, it doesn't solve the issue, even if it's a problem of perception and knowledge.

2. Related to the above, some people have the attitude "Everywhere else in the world runs Windows, surely teaching something else is a disadvantage?"

3. Few people knew how to use computers, and people usually have experience in Windows when you do find someone that's used computers. Finding someone to help with a computer is hard, finding someone who can help with Linux may be harder (though I guess the converse may be true where Linus is prevalent and Windows is not).

4. Lack of networks to search for help when things go wrong. We made an effort to take learning materials out with us, both for the kids and for the teacher to learn more (and not just about Linux), but it's difficult to provide enough documentation to cover every eventuality. Arguably Windows has the same issue but I don't think it has it to the same degree.

I was walking a fine line - on the one hand, I didn't want to treat the learning of the kids at the school as some sort of social/computing experiment to the degradation of their education, but on the other hand, I think open source could be a great thing in those sorts of situations.

I'll also add that for the time I spent there, I only saw a tiny part of Africa, so hopefully other people have more enlightening experiences to share!

URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL (3, Funny)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972549)

Dear Sir, I am a minister in the Office of Software. A recent license audit has uncovered $1.6 billion (ONE BILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND USD) of software licenses in an account at the ministry. The account was for a project that was killed in a planning accident on the way to implementation. Since there was no next project for the licenses the licenses have gone unclaimed. I am asking your assitance in getting the licenses out of my country. As teh minister I can certify you as the regestered lincense owner. For your troubles I will give you 20% of teh licenses. If you are interested in this offer please reply.

Not Even Trying (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27972617)

Microsoft isn't even trying to come up with convincing lies anymore:

"You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership."

Really? What about the cost of upgrades? Does Microsoft give away subsequent versions with new features and bug fixes? No.

And ownership? Really? More like rental. The sticker price indicated the initial cost of rental.

What about the cost of anti-virus software needed to give the illusion of protecting Microsoft software from itself? What about the millions of man-hours each year lost while said anti-virus brings Microsoft-based computers around the world to a screeching halt for extended periods of time? Is all that supposed to be already factored out of the price of Microsoft software? No.

The cost of Microsoft software only begins with the purchase price, and is only a tiny, tiny fraction of what you end up paying.

This Sounds Vaguely Familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973153)

Hello Dear Friend In God,

My name is Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra. I have found you because I need a trustworthy individual in whom I can place my modalities of confidence. I am in possession of 10,000,000 copies of Microsoft Vista. I would like to transfer them all to you for next to nothing. You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership. Please reply with:
Your name
Your address
Your telephone number
Your bank account information

Sincerely,
Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra

Electronic colonization (3, Insightful)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973157)

Like Richard Stallman said at the WSIS Tunis panel discussion 2005 [google.com] : This is electronic colonization, i.e. the Africans are supposed to pay for foreign products and remain ignorant and dependent.

Well, Like... F? (0, Flamebait)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973345)

Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra, who alludes that open source continually costs you money by saying 'You buy Microsoft software, and you buy it once and for all, the cost that we tell you is the total cost for ownership.'

Look, I'm no Linux fanboy*. But Ubuntu is not only free-as-in-beer, not only more stable, not only more powerful but there's a whole community who's idea of recreation is waiting for people like my 50-something friend I installed the distribution for to help with any problems he might have.

Like... Holy Christ, they charge you for new versions of their OS, in complete and outright, obvious contradiction of the quote above. In what way is there even a competition there?

*Disclaimer: I am. But you should take me seriously anyway.

Oh Yes? (1)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973883)

You buy Microsoft software once and then have it forever?

So why does every update to Windows cost me $100?

I deal with Microsoft in Africa (5, Informative)

WML MUNSON (895262) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973941)

LOLOLOLOLOL

I'm a manager at a /major/ East-African health-care organization based in Uganda.

Years ago (before I arrived) someone had a highly customized Microsoft Navision system put in for our HMS/ERP system.

If we want to modify anything more in-depth than what color a button is we have to call up a Microsoft Licensed Consultant who has a key-file on a USB stick that allows them access to the inner-workings of the system -- and pay them hourly.

This system is the beating fucking heart of our organization and we can't even make something a required field or modify the validation of an entry without calling these circus clowns up.

The default license allows access by 36 simultaneous users. Guess how much Microsoft Nairobi forces us to pay per-user when we want to add more? try EIGHT HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS PER SEAT -- AFTER DISCOUNT.

Want to store more information than we currently do? BUY MORE DATABASE TABLES.

Dr. Cheikh Modibo Diarra either has no idea what he's talking about or is an outright fucking liar, because Microsoft has nothing anywhere near a business model that works for Africa.

We can't wait to get off their system.

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