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Brazil Moves Away From Microsoft 630

Posted by timothy
from the all-vagueness-so-far dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Citing economic as well as social reasons, Brazil's government is opting to move away from Windows, opting instead for Open Source (read: Linux) solutions. Interestingly, Microsoft's representative in Brazil decries this as a movement away from freedom and choice..."
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Brazil Moves Away From Microsoft

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  • by Avihson (689950) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:34PM (#7490313)
    But of course, choice is slavery, war is peace, love is hate.

    Just ask Mr Gates at the Ministry of Network Security!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "I've found you can find happiness in slavery."--Reznor

      • I know you were joking, but in ancient times, there indeed were
        slaves which were happy in their slavery and did not want to be
        released, even when they could have been by law (Yovel).

        The bible specificly mentions a degrading ceremony done to such
        a reluctant slave, within which he was branded (at his ear).

        This was done by the ancient hebrews to detter people from opting
        into slavery.

        And I don't think fear of freedom is so different today.
    • by jd (1658)
      Besides, they can still run Microsoft Office using Wine. :)


      Mr Gates is not at the Ministry of Network Security. Since Insecurity is the user's fault, there is no need for such superfluous words.


      Futher more, the word "at" is not required, as it implies that there is a difference between Mr Gates and The Ministry.

    • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @11:50PM (#7490984) Homepage
      I wonder if there was any input from Peruvian Congressman Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nunez, the guy that wrote the letter to Microsoft [gnu.org.pe], justifying the Free Software in Public Administration bill.

      Also, coincidentally, Richard Stallman gave a video-talk [gnu.org] in Brazil just 12 days ago.

      Free Software and OpenSource are roughly the same thing [compsoc.com], but there's no mention of freedom in that article. I just hope they understand the long term benefits of Software Libre.

      • by Tuqui (96668) on Monday November 17, 2003 @03:30AM (#7491697) Homepage
        I wonder if there was any input from Peruvian Congressman Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nunez, the guy that wrote the letter to Microsoft, justifying the Free Software in Public Administration bill.

        This was news a year ago, just after Dr. Villanueva wrote his letters:

        Peru's President Alejandro Toledo will travel to Seattle this weekend for talks with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates during which he will sign accords to support his Huascaran Internet-for-schools project.
        Toledo, who announced a cabinet overhaul Friday to try to revive his flagging government, will travel to Seattle on Sunday and meet Gates on Monday, a government representative said. Toledo will return home Tuesday.
        Peru's Plan Huascaran--named for the Andean nation's highest peak--was a key campaign plank for Toledo when he took office last July pledging to fight poverty.
        Officials say Plan Huascaran has provided about 100 schools in Peru with Internet service and teaching tools. The government aims to increase that number to 5,000 schools by the end of Toledo's term in 2006.
        The drive is part of a campaign to improve education--illiteracy rates are high, especially in isolated highland or jungle areas. More than a quarter of women in rural mountain areas, for example, cannot read.
        Toledo marks a year in office July 28. His public opinion rating has sunk to less than 16 percent amid frustration at unfulfilled promises of more jobs and prosperity.

        Any hope of free choice?
  • Thanks Lula! (Score:2, Interesting)

    As a Brazilian I congratulate the Lula government! Parabens Barbudao :) hehehehe Abracos!
  • by LordK3nn3th (715352) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:35PM (#7490321)
    It's a movement away from the freedom and choice of choosing one of Microsoft's fine, fine products!
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by borgdows (599861) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:35PM (#7490322)
    I can't wait for the next news on the subject : "Darl Mac Bride trip to Brazil"
  • "Interestingly, Microsoft's representative in Brazil decries this as a movement away from freedom and choice..."

    I think the word they were searching for was "Ironically".
  • by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:36PM (#7490332) Homepage
    We have heard a lot of stories about people, states, and countries moving away from Microsoft. Is this a trend? If you are a manager of a fund heavily invested in MS, or an individual investor, when does this news begin to worry you. In the long run does MS really have a chance when competing against free, well written, well understood software?
    • I have been seriously considering removing Microsoft from my portfolio, SCO seem to be doing rather well at the moment, but I think a lot of clever money has already gone there, over inflating the stock value, so I may hold off for a while, I'm sure Microsoft will come up with some cunning licencing plan to thwart these rogue states.
    • when the stock holder thinks about when to start worrying
    • If you are a manager of a fund heavily invested in MS, or an individual investor, when does this news begin to worry you.
      If it's not my money, then I'd take the least painful solution as long as it's within budget, be it Microsoft or Open Source. So in a sense, it shouldn't worry you, at least too much.

      At least now we'll have viable competition, and IMHO this is almost always a Good Thing(TM).
    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:02PM (#7490463)
      I work as a tech consultant. My degrees are in German and International business. When I spent a year studying in Germany, the college had 2 SuSE linux labs and one Windows lab on their campus. Most students had dual boot Linux and Windows laptops.

      The main reason why Linux was being adopted outside of the United States was because of its cost, even with $2.50 per copy for Windows XP in 3rd world nations, linux decreases in cost per unit the more machines you install it upon.

      The other reason was SuSE and Mandrake, both European and not from the United States. Which plays well in the EU. There is a mentality amoung many leaders in France and Germany that want to see the "United States of Europe" superpower and waining themselves from Microsoft could give Europe a leg up in technology as Linux catches on in SE Asia and the 3rd world.

      Now with SuSE in the hands of a NA company, I wonder how that will impeed linux adoption. Oh course, IBM would love to see this happen as the premiums would return to hardware, not software.

      I think Linux will be catching on internationally in the next couple years on desktops big time. It probably will be longer in the United States.

      • by MKalus (72765) <mkalus&gmail,com> on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:53PM (#7490728) Homepage
        he other reason was SuSE and Mandrake, both European and not from the United States. Which plays well in the EU. There is a mentality amoung many leaders in France and Germany that want to see the "United States of Europe" superpower and waining themselves from Microsoft could give Europe a leg up in technology as Linux catches on in SE Asia and the 3rd world.


        I think you got that a bit wrong, yes they don't want the EU to have depend on the US for their wellbeing anymore (and heck, why would they want that), but it is by far not the idea to become a Superpower, at least not in the sense people see the US.

        Seems like you haven't really learned a lot while you were living in Germany.

        I think Linux will be catching on internationally in the next couple years on desktops big time. It probably will be longer in the United States.


        Most likely. I guess the main reason for this is that a lot of people in Europe see the advantage already, the press is in favour of it and more and more people (because of this) are converting. Joe Smoe doesn't care about the "It's not Microsoft", but rather the fact that he can do what he wants with it. For most European companies (Ironically enough) It'll be because of the money they can save. The US will lag behind because of things like the SCO crap (where were all the LUGs in the US when SCO started spewing their FUD? You heard some small reistance, but it seems the real big bang happened in Europe).

        M.
        • ... but it is by far not the idea to become a Superpower, at least not in the sense people see the US.

          The US did not start out to become a Superpower, at least not in the sense people see the US today. But power has a way of becoming a means to its own end. Do you really think France and Germany want power to do good works throughout the world? If so, you are naive. They want power in order to persue their own national interests. Interests like selling goods and services to some of the worst dictator
          • The US did not start out to become a Superpower, at least not in the sense people see the US today. But power has a way of becoming a means to its own end. Do you really think France and Germany want power to do good works throughout the world? If so, you are naive. They want power in order to persue their own national interests. Interests like selling goods and services to some of the worst dictators around the world. Remember, it was the Europeans who created many of the messes in the Middle East, Africa,
        • I think you got that a bit wrong, yes they don't want the EU to have depend on the US for their wellbeing anymore (and heck, why would they want that), but it is by far not the idea to become a Superpower, at least not in the sense people see the US.

          Seems like you haven't really learned a lot while you were living in Germany.

          This is going to get modded -1 offtopic, and be extremely long, but...

          Well, from my time in Germany I only spoke before members of the Bundestag as well as Polish, Czech, British,

          • A couple of good points. I still think though that the idea behind the EU has shifted from was initially thought of in the 1950s to todays reality. We'll see where it is going, but I think if the EU becomes a super power it'll be an economic one. With the east expansion Europe will have a bigger market than the US, and that alone will be interresting to watch.

            I was a member of a LUG here in the area while in College. Last year it folded, people lost interest. I will tell you why too: OS X. After 10.2, abo

          • I was a member of a LUG here in the area while in College. Last year it folded, people lost interest. I will tell you why too: OS X. After 10.2, about 80% of the LUG purchased a mac as their next computer including myself. For me, I had the stablity and usablity of a native Unix enviroment and support from hardware and software vendors for products like Photoshop and Quark.

            Sure. Stability. Usability. Support. But it's not Free Software. It looks like you never really grokked why GNU/Linux was differen

    • In the long run does MS really have a chance when competing against free, well written, well understood software?

      I love Linux and free software as much as the next slashdot reader....and I'm not trying to troll...but there's a lot of free software which is neither well written nor well understood, particularly the latter...even by people like me who have been using linux for years personally and professionally. Case and point would be the linux kernel, which has dozens of options which for years have ha

      • by Virtex (2914) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:24PM (#7490580) Homepage
        It sounds to me like the argument you're trying to make is not that the Linux kernel is poorly written, but that it's poorly documented. The two are not the same, and in the case of the latter, I would agree. There are people trying to fill that hole, but there's no telling how long that will take, or if they can even keep pace with the development of the kernel.
      • by SmackCrackandPot (641205) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:41PM (#7490672)
        but there's a lot of free software which is neither well written nor well understood, particularly the latter

        But at least you have access to the Linux source code to know this. What does the Windows source code look like?
      • by synx (29979) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:43PM (#7490683)
        You imply that commercial software _is_ well documented and well understood. That is not always the case. Maybe if you're talking about Oracle, yes, well documented, but even windows is not always well documented and well understood. Especially with the more obscure features of windows.
      • Case and point would be the linux kernel, which has dozens of options which for years have had no help, no corresponding HOWTO, and names that remind you of ...

        If you are truly interested in learning about the linux kernel, I highly recommend Understanding the Linux Kernel 2nd ed [amazon.com] . Although not the most exciting of books in parts (hurf burf memory management), you should be to work your way around the 2.4 source afterwards.

    • by jsse (254124) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:15PM (#7490533) Homepage Journal
      I see this is a trend. A lot of people is moving away, if not moving to Linux, from Microsoft.

      A friend of mine called last week asked me for my opinion on choosing J2EE and .NET. That really surpise me as he's working for a all MS s/w house, his entire team knows none other than MS's product, and he's a 100% Microsoft zealot. Turn out they were seriouly considering dropping MS deployment as "Microsoft Server is being too insecure".

      I found it amusing: a company who work with Microsoft very closely all these years is being forced to switch, even when they must start from the beginning.
    • You have to realize that the US is by far the biggest software market, so this won't be a problem money wise - at least for the next few years.

      While Brazil has a huge potential, it also has a huge black market. You can buy your copy of XP on the street for next to nothing.

      Most official organizations have to have licenses, so there's some money made, which MS now might stand to lose, but it's more about market share.

      MS would rather have you use MS warez than OSS. Because when you buy your new computer, yo
      • You have to realize that the US is by far the biggest software market, so this won't be a problem money wise - at least for the next few years.

        Well, no. The EU is already a larger market for PCs than the U.S. and the EU software market is not far behind. By numbers but not by dollars, China is nearly equal as well, and is expanding rapidly. The developing world in general is by far the fastest growing market.

        Losing the European and Asian markets will inflict severe financial pain on Microsoft. Losing
    • by Malcontent (40834) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:19PM (#7490553)
      Most fund managers don't look that far ahead. They look at their numbers on a quarterly basis and make their decisions based on those. They care about things like cashflow, profits, earnings, assets not whether some customer or another has switched to a competing product.

      Right now the impact of these countries switching or thinking about switching has not effected the undelying financial position of MS. OTOH MS is expected to grow a certain amount every quarter which is becoming pretty much impossible because they have saturated their markets and are so big that further growth becomes very hard. The expection by shareholders will switch to MS being something like GE or IBM that being a pretty much steady company with minor fluctuations in price from time to time.

      If it turns out that these switches effect the MS bottom line one of two things will happen.

      1) MS will increase their investments in non software fields like media (in which they have substantial holdings) and make a bigger push into their hardware business.

      2) The stock will nosedive like a rocket.

      I don't see #2 happening though. They have 40 billion in the bank and if push comes to shove they can manipulate their own stock price if they want to.
    • As an investor with a well diversified portfolio, bad news about Microsoft doesn't bother me. I get dividends from Microsoft, Microsoft has plenty of other areas to crush, a drop in Microsoft probably means that one of the other companies that I hold shares in are probably doing better as a result (ie, Transmeta, Apple, Adobe, I would have said Redhat but I sold that last week...).

      Investors with poorly diversified portfolios, or idiot fund managers with a very large percentage invested in MSFT have a lot
      • bad example? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ecalkin (468811)
        i don't know that i would use timewarner/AOL (yes, i know they changed the name!) as a good example here! aol played games, merged with/bought timewarner and has been dragging it down the drain ever since. i beleive that they may have stopped the bleeding, but they already blead billions (and billions) of dollars. not a shining example in my book.

        eric
        • Re:bad example? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by silentbozo (542534)
          Actually AOL/Time Warner is the perfect example. AOL by itself is worth nothing close to what Time Warner thought it was worth when TW allowed itself to be bought out by AOL. In the same way, if Microsoft knew that next week it would no longer be able to sell software, they'd take what their stock is worth now, buy up a bunch of companies that would be able to sell whatever it is that they buy, and sidestep the whole loss of value thing.

          Understand that it isn't AOL (the acquirer) that got the shaft - it
      • As an investor with a well diversified portfolio, bad news about Microsoft doesn't bother me. I get dividends from Microsoft ...

        That is a curious statement considering that Microsoft has only paid 2 dividends in its history [ohio.com].

        Given that Microsoft has been, and still seems to be, very reticent to pay dividends, I would think that anything that affects stock price would be the primary interest of its investors. If Microsoft loses its overseas growth markets, a large cash buffer will only serve to stave off
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:36PM (#7490334)
    Right there in the same league with Red Hat and Suse is Brasil's own home grown Linux, Conectiva [conectiva.com.br]. Not as well known in North America, yet it is perhaps the most popular Linux in the Southern Hemisphere of the Americas.
  • by rf0 (159958)
    Everything is about choice. Microsoft saying that this is a move away from freedom and choice is rubbish. If *they* want to use Microsoft then they will. For somethings MS is the best answer such as playing games and for the general populs. It brings some sort of standard to the industry.

    However if Brazil feel that other OS are better for the jobs they want then they can go for it. The point is no-one is being forced to use anything so MS just see the $$'s slipping away than anything else

    Rus
  • As well as.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:39PM (#7490353) Homepage Journal
    Citing economic as well as social reasons

    We should probably add security reasons, employment reasons, resource reasons, government infrastructure reasons, political reasons, etc....etc...etc...

    Although, that said. There is a place for proprietary software and many Microsoft products would meet this need. The problem is that Microsoft spent years being just good enough and out-competing the better alternative in many cases (MacOS) and now it is turning around to bite them in the butt, because Linux based solutions are now in many cases.....good enough.

    Of course OS X is still the best solution for most users that I have yet seen, but in the short term, Brazil could likely use their existing CPU hardware infrastructure for Linux as opposed to purchasing new hardware from Apple. Long term costs could most likely be lower with a gradual phasing in of OS X in combination with OSS solutions running on Linux and the use of existing infrastructure on Windows however as a healthy computing ecosystem is diverse.

  • Are there any credible laptop manufacturers in Brazil that might offer a laptop without the MS tax?
  • Attitude... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mullen (14656) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:46PM (#7490397)
    "If this was a rich country, it wouldn't matter and we could buy Microsoft products, but we're a developing country and Linux is just a lot more accessible, so we're heading toward a Linux generation."

    It is this attitude that probably got them in to the problems they are in now and it is the attitude that got California in the problems it has now. When the State is flush with cash, you still have to find ways to save money. Just because the State has money, it does not mean it should spend it. It should return it to the people who gave it really belongs to, the Tax Payers.
    Run Linux, save money, lower taxes. Sounds like a good combination to me.
    • Run Linux, save money, lower taxes. Sounds like a good combination to me.

      Absolutely, but if you want to save money that means government shouldn't hire developers to work on Linux and artificially support a market.
  • by sbma44 (694130) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:46PM (#7490398)
    In recent years Brazil has become [iht.com] the home to a lot of crackers (I believe there was a slashdot article on this recently as well). Presumably moving the government's preferred software solutions will also influence Brazil's populace, through compatibility requirements and civil workers becoming familiar with OSS, then taking that knowledge home.

    If Brazil remains a locus of "grayhat" activity, could this mean more resources will be put toward finding Linux exploits? Certainly on the whole Linux is more secure than Microsoft's offerings, but I imagine most would agree that its small userbase has played a part in limiting the number of exploits uncovered.

  • by KoolDude (614134) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:47PM (#7490399)

    ...we'll get more people working on Samba [samba.org] ?
  • Wonderful News (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slevin (67815) * on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:48PM (#7490405) Homepage
    This is such wonderful news I can barely stand it. I've spent the whole weekend in a slump because it recently hit me that Microsoft has flat out killed all progress in browser technologies for the mainstream consumer. Their admission to make no more changes to IE until the next revision of the OS is terribly sad. For a brief shining moment one could dream of a world of human beings working together and exchanging ideas. But for the most part, the internet has been reduced to an alternate way to watch CNN.

    Individial centric social structures (such as capitalism) work well in many ways, but they are very vulnerable through brainwashing of individuals (advertising) and the abuse of the commons(spam). Governments are the forces of socialism which keep things in check. I'm giddy at seeing this actually happening.(Even though I am deeply sad that my own dear Home of the Brave dropped the ball on this in a fearfully troubling manner.) I pray to any higher power that will answer me that this sort of thing will continue until it is safe and productive to have a good idea again.
    • Re:Wonderful News (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bludstone (103539)
      For a brief shining moment one could dream of a world of human beings working together and exchanging ideas. But for the most part, the internet has been reduced to an alternate way to watch CNN.

      Uh, you are posting on slashdot. A reasonably intelligent web forum that serves for some kind of intellectual discussion. (sometimes/rarely)

      Look, the Internet is NOT TV-2.. tho it can be.

      If people dont want to use their Internet connection for the free exchange of ideas, they dont have too. Its not like it affec
  • context people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdkane (588293) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @09:48PM (#7490408)
    Slashdot story posting says
    Interestingly, Microsoft's representative in Brazil decries this as a movement away from freedom and choice..."

    The context in the actual story is:
    Although Amadeu insists the government has no plans to mandate open-source software use, Microsoft is worried and is lobbying to prevent the policy from becoming law.
    "We still think free choice is best for companies, the individuals and the government," said Luiz Moncau, Microsoft's marketing director in Brazil. "There is the risk of creating a technology island in Brazil supported by law."

    Understanding the full context, I believe it's a bad thing to exclude one party and not the other, whether it's Microsoft of Linux being excluded. Yes, it sounds like good reasoning that the government would go with Linux and Open-Source because of the cheper prices. However at the same time they should not exclude other types of non-open-source software. Other than for reasons of anti-competitiveness I don't see a good reason to not allow other types of software to be used.

    • Re:context people (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oGMo (379) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:04PM (#7490478)
      However at the same time they should not exclude other types of non-open-source software.

      There is very good reason to exclude non-open-source software, all of which have been discussed and experienced repeatedly. As it's been said, this exclusion does not exclude any company, Microsoft or otherwise. Microsoft is free to compete in the open source arena just like everyone else.

      • Re:context people (Score:3, Interesting)

        by IM6100 (692796)
        Entire segments of the software market have NO Open Source options. Engineering Workstations and high-end CAD and design are examples of this. You can't design a large FPGA and simulate it with any Open Source solution. Well, you probably can, with tools reminiscent of what engineers had in 1985...

        Restricting a society to Open Source Only will stunt the economy of that society, limiting them to word processors, spreadsheets, web browsers and an array of similar 'prole' applications.
        • Re:context people (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:56PM (#7490746) Homepage Journal
          So, you're saying that if AutoCAD became OSS, it would immediately and magically drop back to 1985 levels of functionality?

          Of course you're not. You're saying that right now there is no OSS CAD software that compares to the good high-end closed-source stuff. Well, if there's one immutable law of economics, it's this: where there is a demand, there will be a supply. If the need arises for good OSS CAD software, rest assured, it will exist. Assuming that the current state of the art represents The Way Things Are Forever And Always Amen is really incredibly dumb.
          • Re:context people (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Sneftel (15416)
            The problem with your argument is that the Brazilian government does not have the capability to represent much of a demand. Try telling Autodesk that they should open-source AutoCAD so that they can sell to the Brazilian government, and prepare to get laughed out of their office. Influencing supply by influencing demand only works if you have the ability to significantly influence demand.
            • The problem with your argument is that the Brazilian government does not have the capability to represent much of a demand.

              First, as local and regional expertise rises (an inevitable result of widespread adoption, even by "just" the government), of free software, the level of demand required to create a particular product (e.g. a free and open Autocad system) will go down. This is simple economics ... the more supply one has, the less demand required for that supply to be disseminated. A market with a
    • Sandbox (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bstadil (7110) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:26PM (#7490590) Homepage
      I believe it's a bad thing to exclude one party and not the other,

      Microsoft has proven that it can not play nice with the other children, and as such has been given a few years timeout

      The Best SW for the job is a fallacy.

      I recently saw a movie where the head surgeon made all the operation on little children with brain tumors. He was almost let go as this clearly disallowed anyone else to aquire the needed skill set.

      Nobody disputed that fact that he was the best.

  • "We still think free choice is best for companies, the individuals and the government," said Luiz Moncau, Microsoft's marketing director in Brazil. "There is the risk of creating a technology island in Brazil supported by law."

    So, wait, in the first part of that quote, he says free choice is good. In the second part he says Microsoft's monopoly and refusal to interoperate make free choice painful. So after running that through the bullshit-o-tron we get: "Free choice is good as long as you choose Micros
  • by morelife (213920) <f00fbug@nospaM.postREMOVETHISman.at> on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:08PM (#7490495)
    "Deseja batata com isso?"

    (you want fries with that?)

    --Luiz Moncau, Director of Marketing, Microsoft Brazil, 4 months from now.

  • by cemkaner (55453) <kaner@kaner.com> on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:10PM (#7490505) Homepage
    We keep reading about the yet-another-government that said "oh, dear, Microsoft is sooooo expensive, we should use Linux instead."

    And then there's an item in the Wall Street Journal about someone from Microsoft striking a deal with the country's government. They get big discounts, free software, maybe some gifts for the schools, maybe even some investments or jobs.

    So if you were running a poor country, why WOULDN'T you threaten to give Microsoft products the boot? It's a negotiation!
  • Zero Hunger (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by jpatokal (96361) *
    ...and before the ObTrolls start yelling about Third World governments putting money into newfangled computers instead of feeding their own people, don't worry, Brazil's working on that too [fomezero.gov.br]. (In case you don't read Portuguese, here [ryerson.ca]'s an article about the 'Hunger Zero' program in English.

    Cheers,
    -j.

  • by JavaSavant (579820) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:15PM (#7490540) Homepage
    It's odd how software has become akin to daytime television. Every time Microsoft loses a market lately, it's the result of some failure of democracy and Natural Law. If a gas station were to lose it's business to a competitor down the street, would he chalk it up to the oppression of OPEC and chime about how such competition is akin to the spread of fascism in Europe in the 1930's?

    I think it goes more to show how Microsoft feels entitled to each and every market they enter, and that they're not trained to respond to the market around them as they're so used to controlling it. If they lose business in some market, it's not because their prices are high and their products are inferior, it's because some other market force "has it in for them."
  • by mcpkaaos (449561) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:16PM (#7490542)
    Microsoft's representative in Brazil decries this as a movement away from freedom and choice...

    Since when did dubya work for Microsoft?
  • Brazil (Score:3, Funny)

    by kesler (576674) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:51PM (#7490718) Homepage
    They are going to change from the land of Samba and Carnival to the land of Samba.
  • Windows 1984 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sstory (538486) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:53PM (#7490725) Homepage
    I love the Orwellian Work Product known as MSFT. Every time somebody say they won't exclusively use Windows, MSFT says, "You Have To! If you don't you're Anti-Choice!"
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @10:54PM (#7490735) Homepage Journal
    President Bush made a national address today regarding the freedom hating countries who are in alliance against the US and hate us because of our freedoms and democracy.

    excerpt:

    "Freedom loving citizens of the United States, I would like to thank you for your sacrifices since September 11th. Today I bring you news of an even greater peril to our safety and our freedom. We have become aware that terrorist evil doers have infiltrated the Governments of countries such as China, Germany and now even Brazil. Our intelligence has found deep ties to Al Qaeda, Iraq and the Axis of Evil in these countries who have turned against us.

    We have appointed Steve Balmer as "Special Ambassador of Freedom" to meet with and talk to the leaders of the Brazilian Government and their IT infrastructure. However, they have shown little interest in making a return to freedom and may leave us with no choice but to call upon a coalition of the willing to help restore freedom to those noble people of Brazil so that they may once again enjoy Freedom and Democracy. The evil doers must be shown that we will not tolerate those who would stand against us and stand against freedom... Compulsatory Registration with the Department of Homeland Security Required [dhs.gov]"
  • by TheUberBob (700030) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @11:17PM (#7490847)
    Free Trade is a joke of course, but let's put this in perspective of the americas trade zone negotiations. Brazil wants to protect it's financial service and tech areas from U.S. domination/ownership (multinationals/u.s. investors). It wants profits to go to the local economy...it also wants to export agricultural products and protect its farmers. By focusing on linux and local tech, they can expand their influence in south america, and eventually (since lots of thrid world countries realize the inherent problem in giving money to the world richest country) grab IP rights of their own and export tech to the US...or at least drive ridiculous profits down...it's the natural reaction to the way US subsidies for farmers drive profits down worldwide and keep third world countries to a low growth rate (insuring a very very slow development process and much less threat of challenge to US interests/IP/capital from developing nations). The US wants to protect their farmers because it hurts third world countries profits andhelps big business reap the benefits of tech and financial services (third world countries don't have the capital/resources to compete)...so brazil wants their farmers to benefit and to not allow the invasion of US tech and financial services. So the current talks, detailed at BBC [bbc.co.uk], will probably fall through. And since the US is pursuing deals with individual countries, it's in Brazil's best interest to develop their own tech/keep US tech out, independent of the trade agreement. Of course, given the timing, it's a nice warning shot too.
  • by xeo_at_thermopylae (585330) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @11:19PM (#7490852)
    Governments are committing to open source software, IIS is losing server market share, programmers are abandoning .NET tools, etc. So at what point will we see an effect on Microsoft's stock?

    It's as if Microsoft is the very last of the dot-coms (although it never truly was a dot-com), and, until MSFT falls to a final reasonable level, the market and economy won't truly be able to restructure and recover. Reason being, so many huge mutual funds are so heavily invested in MSFT. A stock that does not react to either bad or good news is not a reasonably-priced stock, but is an exercise in the optimism of mass market behavior.

  • by Theatetus (521747) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @11:32PM (#7490909) Journal

    ...until the US gov't gets pressured to treat these "move towards open source" campaigns by various countries as a tariff against US software. That could be interesting.

  • argentina (Score:5, Informative)

    by sdibb (630075) on Monday November 17, 2003 @12:59AM (#7491286)
    But try telling that to the tens of thousands of Brazilians who regularly visit the 86 free "Telecentro" free computer centers in Sao Paulo, a sprawling city of 18 million. All the centers' computers use open-source software, and the Telecentros cater to working class Brazilians without the means to buy computers. They learn how to send e-mail, write resumes and cruise the Web.

    Argentina has these things there, too (I lived there a few years). They're basically little stores where people go in and pay to get on the Internet. I can't remember the prices now, but the people there are so poor, that they only charged in increments of either 10 minutes or an hour.

    Plus, a lot of the shops are run by the monopolistic telephone company there - Telefonica Argentina. I think they are in other countries as well, but I'm not sure. Their rates are reasonable to get online, but usually it's dialup -- not highspeed, and for theirs you have to pay the phone charges too. It's not free to make local calls, which is a shame.

    For people who open up their own shops, who actually have enough money, I can see absolutely no reason why they would want to use Microsoft Windows, when at the very *least* Linux can do everything it can for free, and at the very best ... well, we all know the advantages. :)

  • by mattr (78516) <mattr.telebody@com> on Monday November 17, 2003 @02:53AM (#7491637) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, even Microsoft apologists can go back and forth about capitalism until the sun goes down but the reality is that no government that is scrounging for $18/month per family for food rations has any business paying a U.S. monopoly 25 million dollars a year. THAT would be plain irresponsible.

    I would like to have heard more about how using linux would help accelerate education, technology development, and communication. Or about how it is superior to Windows in many ways. Or about what open source really means, or about how governments have certain obligations which can be best met with open source.

    But the clanging, steel hard bottom of the pot truth is, Brazil and most of the states considering linux are absolutely correct to FUCK Micro$oft and their double-dealing ways. It just so happens that South Americans seem to have bigger cojones AND clearer heads about this, but most likely every local or national government in this economy would do better to steer away from megacorporations and spend less money on developing maintainable systems of their own which leverage the work of other states as well.

    Of course it will cost money, but on the order of the first $20 which after passed through the economy hundreds of times has created an exponential amount of wealth. This will also create jobs! THERE IS NO REASONABLE ARGUMENT FOR BRAZIL OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD. So praise Brazil and Peru, and do your best to get people who understand what this is about - MONEY, JOBS, EFFICIENCY and FREEDOM FROM CUTTHROAT MONOPOLIES - into office where they can make similar decisions.

  • by iantri (687643) <iantri@gmx. n e t> on Monday November 17, 2003 @09:03AM (#7492383) Homepage
    Silva's top technology officer wants to transform the
    land of samba and Carnival into a tech-savvy nation where everyone from schoolchildren to government bureaucrats uses open-source software instead of costly Windows products.

    Ahh.. but there's no Samba in a Windows-free environment!

  • As a followup to this Brazilian move, Norway's largest newspapers, Dagbladet [dagbladet.no] has right now a story on the top of their frontpage, reading (my translation): "Throws out Bill Gates: Brazil, Germany, Spain, Isreal and Mexico, wants to drop the Microsoft license. This is how you can do it as well: read more [dagbladet.no]."

    Then they go on with very positive reviews of different free software packages, before concluding with a link to a very positive review of SuSE Personal 9.0.

    Not bad at all. A lot of people will see this...

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