BANGALORE, INDIA - Political and economic factors will drive Linux and open source software adoption in developing countries, claimed a Linux International executive.
Governments want greater control over the software used to solve critical IT problems, therefore they will embrace open source software instead of proprietary software, according to Jon Hall, executive director of Linux International. Hall was in Bangalore, India, recently in conjunction with Silicon Graphics Inc.'s India launch of its latest Linux-based servers.
Linux International is a non-profit computer vendor association, which supports and promotes the Linux operating system.
Users want to protect themselves from risks such as software vendors going out of business, application licensing rule changes and political issues like trade sanctions, Hall said. Open source software gives users free access to its source code, enabling them to avoid such risks, he added.
Open source software grants users in developing countries access to quality software while saving them money, said Hall. Paying for proprietary software requires sending funds to another country, according to Hall, while open source applications are free on the Internet.
Proprietary software, unlike open source software, cannot be tailored to every user requirement, Hall said.
The open source model can develop a local software industry, leading to the creation of local jobs, Hall added.
"Open source changes the paradigm, as it says that the bulk of the code that you need to solve your problem is freely available on the Internet, and what you pay for is the local software person who is going to take that code, and tailor it exactly to your needs," he said.
Some countries have found that information technology costs decrease by using open source software instead of proprietary software, according to Hall, who added that several open source projects in Africa would have been impossible if users had to pay for proprietary software.