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Egyptian Government To Adopt Free Software On Larger Scale

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the digital-arab-spring dept.

Open Source 57

ezabi writes "After announcing a 43 million USD license agreement with Microsoft, the Egyptian government was faced with a protest from FOSS enthusiasts staging a protest before the cabinet. Later, representatives from the community had a meeting with the minister of communications and information technology. Such a meeting led to the ministry issuing a press release (in Arabic) stating its commitment to gradually move to open source (Google Translate to English) as a strategic option for future projects. It's worth mentioning that all governmental websites used in the elections and constitution referendum were all based on open source solutions."

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hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438587)

What are they going to do with all the Microsoft licenses?

Re:hmm.. (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42438645)

Keep the furnace busy, they are freedom fighters after all.

Re:hmm.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438725)

Yeah, just go insult Allah or that child molester Moohammad and see how fast shit gets real. Freedom my ass.

Re:hmm.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440731)

This is just a pure hate message, has nothing to do with realities, or the topic at hand. Just built on blind hate to a group of people

Not the "freedom" thing ... (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#42438921)

The last thing the Muslim Brotherhood wants is "Freedom".

The one thing that brought the Egyptian government to the free software is that Egypt is facing imminent bankruptcy.

Egyptian pounds have lost 50% of its value since the uprising, and it's poised to lose even more, thanks to the clueless Muslim Brotherhood on running anything effectively.

Right now, as we speak, Egyptians are busy changing their Egyptian pounds into foreign currencies because they know that the Egyptian pounds gonna be devalued even more !!

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42439031)

I think we're all facing bankruptcy, and paying Microsoft for permission to use their operating system just speeds us down that path. How many billions have they raked in, in Bill Gates lifetime? He can buy and sell small governments. He can buy and sell a couple of larger governments. That's not counting any of the corporation's money, just Bill's money.

You would think that a government that doesn't like capitalism would work hard to avoid making rich corporations even richer.

Charlie Brooker on Windows ... (4, Interesting)

dgharmon (2564621) | about a year ago | (#42439133)

"Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it".

"using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981" Charlie Brooker [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Charlie Brooker on Windows ... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#42442933)

And all this time I assumed the quote was from Charlie Brown.

That kid's sure grown up!

US$43 Million for Microsoft toilet paper ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439053)

"The one thing that brought the Egyptian government to the free software is that Egypt is facing imminent bankruptcy."

Maybe what caused Egypt to go bankrupt was the US$43 Million they gave to Microsoft for toilet paper ..

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#42439137)

Please tell me what foreign currency they are changing it into because I cannot think of one that is not in danger. The best one at the moment seems to be the Yuan.

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (1)

priceslasher (2102064) | about a year ago | (#42445055)

Bitcoins? Supporting your local currency is probably the best option, as it pays for infrastructure and government (unless your government uses the money to oppress you, of course).

There wasn't anyone else (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#42439227)

The only form of legal assembly was religious groups so they were the only ones that were organised enough to run the place after the old government was kicked out

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439865)

How have you been voted +5 insightful if some of the easily verifiable statements in your post are complete BS. You said the Egyptian pound lost 50% of its value since the uprising and that is verifiable BS. Needless to say that the Muslim Brotherhood have only been in power for months so 1.5years after the uprising. By the way I'm not saying that your claims that the Muslim Brotherhood can't run a country are false. I'm just saying that your supporting facts are, well, not.

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439897)

You must be joking!
Egyptian pounds lost only 3% of it value in two-years-of-turbulence!
Regarding open software, it is pushed by community with nice and supportive response from government.

Re:Not the "freedom" thing ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440717)

50%!! may be you should educate yourself a little, and stop spreading false information. the Uprising started on the 25 of January 2011: Value of Egyptian Pound to US Dollar= 0.17002 cents.
Today 1.1.2013 Value of Egyptian Pound in US Dollars= 0.15711 cents. Drop in Value= 7.6%
source for information : Xe dot com

Re:hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438839)

What are they going to do with all the Microsoft licenses?

Sell them. With their economy in turmoil [independent.ie] they'll be looking for a refund or a "pass" on any restrictions to that pesky "first sale doctrine".

They're being used (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year ago | (#42439085)

"stating its commitment to gradually move to open source as a strategic option for future projects"

They aren't changing anything. They're going to use the Microsoft licenses they have already bought.. but on future projects, open source may get a shot, but probably not.

I'm glad these people chose to go protest over some Microsoft licenses amounting to $43m, instead of clearly less important things, like Morsi throwing their momentary democracy in trash [theglobeandmail.com] .

Re:hmm.. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#42441703)

Upgrade their existing desktops and infrastructure to a version that will still be getting security updates in a couple of years time?

Great! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438595)

It's good to see that free software is so highly valued by some of the most disgusting savages on the planet. Do you think Kim Jong-Un uses Ubuntu or is he more of a Slackware kind of guy? I bet Stalin would have chosen RedHat and significantly increased the productivity and efficiency of the Gulag. Thanks RMS!

Re:Great! (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42439055)

Savages, huh? There are still savages in the world. We read about some of them in the news from time to time. I'm not even Arabic, or related to any Arabic or Egyptian people, but I can definitely recognize that Egyptians aren't savages. Syrians? They're a bit closer to savagery. You want to meet some real savages, catch a plane to Pakistan, or Somalia. Geez, Louise - some of you think that anyone who isn't American or European has to be a savage. Grow up, get an education.

Re:Great! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439311)

A good majority of Muslims are savages, and that's promoted by Islam. The Egyptians you are thinking of are pre-Islamic ones, not the ones of today. Today's Egyptians are no different from Libyans, Syrians, Saudis and others. For the civil war in Syria or the lynchings in Libya, there were things like the rape on Lara Logan, demonstrating that Egypt is no more civilized than the rest of the Arab or Muslim world.

Non Westerners who are not Muslim are usually pretty civilized - see the Japanese, the Koreans, the Thai, the Vietnamese and so on. No Islamic influences there.

Re:Great! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440659)

when it was the dark-ages for the western, it was the Golden Ages for Muslim World.
Lest list a few of Muslims Scholars achievements:
Numbers (Numeral System)
Algorithms, Algebra and Calculus -by Al-Khwarazmi.
Surgery -by Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi also surgical and medical instruments.
Modern Chemistry -by Abu-Moussa Jabir ibn Hayyan (arabic "Alchemya").
Astronomy -many great contribution
University - al-Firhi sisters founded the first degree-granting university the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University.
Optics -by Ibn al-Haitham.
Hospitals - Ahmad ibn Tulun.
Toothbrush - the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) popularized the use of the first toothbrush.
and Coffee

We're at a rough patch and We Will Prevail.

read more:
      http://goo.gl/QfIyo (1001Inventions-MuslimHeritageInOurWorld.pdf)

Re:Great! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42441797)

A rough patch? Try hundreds of years of stagnation and ruin, with no end in sight. Look at how few books are published in the Islamic world, compared to the west. Scientific output is shameful. Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca, is tagging women to prevent them from sneaking over the border. Good luck getting to the border, as they aren't allowed to drive. Iran, once a country with a thriving culture, subjugated itself to the Arab knock-off of Judaism and Christianity, turning itself in to an oppressive basket case of a country. Indonesia's not doing too badly, mainly because it had way more influx from other cultures, yet in the last 10 years or so they instituted Sharia. Well done there - public beatings for disobedient women, and the same for men who gamble over a game of cards. Turkey is doing reasonably well, albeit with military guarantor that Muslims won't fuck up, as they often do, by insisting that Islamism is a workable form of government.

You're in more than a rough patch. You're fucked. You will not prevail. The best we can all hope for is that the grip of Islam declines and that Muslims tire of having mullahs and the state dictate their lives to them. It's a joke. You topple one dictator, or throw out a band of religious nutjobs, and then as soon as you get a say in governance, it's back in with a new version of religious nutjobs.

Re:Great! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439357)

I've been to Egypt and Pakistan multiple times you liberal fucktard. If you said something negative about Muhammad in public they'd have no problem beating you to death in the middle of the street with the full support of the local police. They also have an absolutely atrocious human rights record and have no problems with men beating the shit out of women for things that are absolutely trivial. The difference between the highly populated areas of Pakistan and Egypt is negligible at best.

But you keep racing to defend them as you sip on a caffè latte in Starbucks on your Macbook listening to indie bands us uneducated plebs have never heard of... Maybe you can make a blog post about it later.

Re:Great! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439289)

Given RMS' support for Muslim savages in so many places, such as Pakistan, Pali Authority, Egypt, Libya, Syria and so on, this is a good tribute to him. Only thing that surprised me a few days ago - his condemnation of Jihadis in Mali. Otherwise, RMS has problems with deists of all faiths... except islam. Maybe the Arab League and the OIC should pass resolutions declaring that only FSF endorsed software will be acceptable to them. They can roll out their own Islamic distros and make it the official distros of the Ummah. Oh, and while they are at it, they could even create what the Iranians want - a separate internet for just themselves so that communications between Muslims and others is impossible. And put it all under AGPL3.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440679)

Didn't RMS say he didn't have a problem with pedophillia? Islam doesn't have a problem with pedophillia between men and girls either, nor does the early parts of the other religion indigenous to the region (not christianity, which is a greco-roman religion with a gloss of middle easternism).

Maybe that's the thread that binds?

Maybe that's why Islam exist, a last gasp of what once was in the world, more violent so as to weather the storm better than the older religion(s) that faded?
Maybe the muslim men know this, and they will fight for the ancient world?

I have no idea myself, just ideas, observations.

Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438623)

Free software for people who are not free... Yeah. That's fucking hilarious.

How about adopting some free speech, equal rights? Maybe some basic human rights? Or how about just a little decency...

Thats some fine trolling there egypt.

Re:Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439717)

They probably want free software as in free beer. Or perphaps they're tired of running software that allows a foreign government to control the source code.
Anyhow, it means less money for Microsoft so it's good. With some luck the culture of free software will do them some good as well.

Re:Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (1)

GrayWhiZ (1721430) | about a year ago | (#42440141)

Free software for people who are not free... Yeah. That's fucking hilarious.

How about adopting some free speech, equal rights? Maybe some basic human rights? Or how about just a little decency...

Thats some fine trolling there egypt.

who said we are not free? lol , at least we had a social revolution which is still going on too till now,and we had free&transparent elections since the revolution started! and until now,multinational corporations are not brain-washing us and controlling our life like the usa , so i guess judging others like this is just a symbol of jealousy maybe?

Re:Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42441435)

who said we are not free?

And you would be female?

Re:Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42441833)

who said we are not free?

And you would be female?

or Christian, secular or atheist.

Re:Yeah... Ok... that's fine and all. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year ago | (#42446417)

"multinational corporations are not brain-washing us and controlling our life like the usa "
No you are being manipulated by a 6th century cult demanding your ever lasting and unquestioning obedience. The protesters and citizens of Egypt got the same screwing as the Iranian protesters did after their 1979 revolution. Evidently the people in the Mideast are experts at street protests but don't have a clue about how to organize and implement any of the changes they were standing out in the street demanding. And all things being equal I will take Exxon, IBM, Apple, or any other multi national company over any group who uses religion to project their power.

And open interfaces? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#42438625)

Hard to imagine that the Egyptian Government will be happy in the long term with software which gives the user full control over encryption and messaging. They will want a nice closed source solution with DRM right there in the kernel, firmly attached to the hardware.

Re:And open interfaces? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#42438673)

All under the watchful eye of the US government. I wonder if the Egyptian Government has access to the source code?

Open Source Software? (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42438653)

Is Egypt not in enough trouble already?

Re:Open Source Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439135)

You forgot to log in with your other user account: ShittyTrollParody

Yeah, its free.......but.... (-1)

bricko (1052210) | about a year ago | (#42438753)

But they may cut your head or your clit off......depends on how free is defined.

So its not just the "communists" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438761)

Great. So now Linux will be associated with both the "communists" and "islamic fundamentalists". ;-)

Because nobody uses Apache (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438867)

Yeah, real surprise, all the government websites use the world's most popular webserver... -_________-

Who gives a shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42438975)

What this muslim brotherhood thug government wants. They pay thugs to gang-rape female protestors. They imprison and torture dissenters. Is this supposed to be somehow a "victory" for FOSS? This is like when the freetards get all excited that China is making its own linux distro. WTF?

America really doesn't like it, when... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439091)

... it's not THEIR evil dictator enslaving the population.

Nobody of your opinion makers gives a single shit about the dictator and enslavement part. All that counts is if the US (= US companies) can make a profit off of it.
And since you have only the illusion of free will and "unbiased" reality, that's your opinion too.
If the evil dictators were the American Brotherhood (Haliburton, Monsanto, Blackwater, Eli Lilly, etc), they would tell you it's a "beautiful democracy" and you would believe that shit, no questions asked.

Why not tied aid? (0)

PacRim Jim (812876) | about a year ago | (#42439541)

U.S. taxpayers give over $1 billion (with a "b") to Egypt every year. Why not give part of that as software and keep the software engineers working in the U.S. It's called tied aid, and every country uses it for foreign aid.

Re:Why not tied aid? (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about a year ago | (#42440421)

Because any money that they would give to develop free (or not) software that would come out of this billion would be
taken out of the money that already flows out to US companies, to buy really useful stuff like guns & ammo tanks, planes and all this kind of really important stuff...
Do you really think that any US base aid is not already claimed by some powerful US based corporation ?

you are very astute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439553)

also able to put it out there in text, many others know this but arent able to put it out there in so few words
clear, concise and to the point.
happy new year

it's about usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439627)

It's all good an well to talk about using open source software, but like a lot of other companies that have decided not to use it it has to work well and be supported right?

MS will support Egypt. Is Egypt supposed to just use forums? Egypt is not a tech company like Google.

What are they going to use for Exchange?? Open office blows. Active Directory works well for organizations like it or not.

You want to compete with MS...compete, but don't just do it on some ideological merit. OSS or Closed source ain't going to change much witt the regime other than maybe the bottom line...and it isn't always that simple.

I use Linux, nginx, Apache, Python, Node, and many other OSS bits for all sort of "server"\"app" level stuff. I might use Google docs, Gmail, etc...but at the end of the day Google services are closed source. OSS has just not cracked the enterprise desktop environment yet...and until this crowd understands(and wants to) why it won't.

Re:it's about usability (1)

cheros (223479) | about a year ago | (#42440963)

Actually, the only real problem was a replacement for Exchange and Outlook, and the new release of Kolab combined with Kontact seems to cover this pretty well (I wish there was a version of Kontact for OSX, seems to be an abandoned project).

As for which desktop, well, *there* I can see some challenges. 2 years ago I would have said Ubuntu, but they screwed up badly so I think Linux Mint may be worth a shot. The fun bit is that Microsoft has just set a development budget: as long as they stay under 43 Million they make a profit.

And with 43 Million even *I* can get a decent platform out. They've shown it in Münich and (less well known) in the Extremadura region of Spain [softpedia.com] . As a matter of fact, knowing what I know of that project, that project would be the best place to start, because it goes beyond school and enterprise straight into governance.

Re:it's about usability (1)

cheros (223479) | about a year ago | (#42440973)

Not sure what happened: MÃf¼nich should be Munich (left out the special character, maybe Slashdot has a problem with UTF8 :) ).

Effective Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42439881)

Great, the economic support in the form of loans going to Egypt is actually impacting the Egypt and not circulating back to feed the hungry in the US. For that there is Pizza Hut.

HTML, anyone? (3, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#42440339)

the Egyptian government was faced with a protest from FOSS enthusiasts staging a stand before the cabinet http//www.egyptindependent.com/news/activists-protest-microsoft-deal

Y'know, they really should invent a way to visit links quicker than copying and pasting the text into the URL bar.

A: the official Facebook page of Prime Minister (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440653)

Q: How do you know we're talking about a fucking backwards country?

Yes we do have democracy in Egypt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440683)

I find the calls for free and open software fascinating. For years the news about deals involving Millions of dollars from Mircosoft and other softwere giants with the Egyptian government were common in Egypt, where 40% of the population live on less than $2/day. But that is no surprise, I guess MS knows its way well around corrupted governments.

Now when the Muslim Brothers respond in their first months of governing to calls of turning to FOSS, they get flamed That's just beyond me.
Just because our democracy brought in power someone you dislike, does not mean it is not a democracy. Most of you know nothing about the Muslim Brothers more than their name -which is enough for some to form an opinion about them- or the biased western media coverage about them. Given, or democracy is not perfect, but we are only in its kindergarten, and may be you should ask yourselves first, how a lot of your tax-money found their way to Mubarak's bank accounts for the last 30 years.

Most techies are feminists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42440809)

If it aint helping dey wimmin (and marrying young girls doesn't help wimmin: competition aint no good for a racket) they don't like it: they want to ban, impprison, and bomb

Re:Yes we do have democracy in Egypt (4, Insightful)

professionalfurryele (877225) | about a year ago | (#42441273)

The Muslim Brotherhood are getting attacked because they are taking precisely the step necessary to ensure Egypt has one and only one free and fair election. Yes this move to free software is a good thing and indicates they aren't prepared to be tied to Western corporate control, but at the same time the new constitution and the resulting permanent sectarian divide it will set up is not good for Egypt. People in the West are criticising it because we have made similar mistakes in our past, and paid for them with dictatorships.

Because they are absolutely broke (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#42441361)

Egypt has zero money. They have enough currency on hand to buy food for the next 3 months. And that's it. If I were them I'd double down on Microsoft and dare Redmond to try to collect.

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