Seeing how I'm hosting the slashdotters meetup tomorrow, I spent a few hours reading up on the news while on the bus to and from work. This caught my attention.
Brazilian Government Continues Push For Free Software. The comments say it all, here some of the best bits
Most of us here have long known the realities of TCO and Microsoft. The only big cost with free software is in retraining staff. And retraining can be done for free – give a hungry man a can of food and he'll find a way to open it.
I guess with all the economic trouble in South America of late, governments such as that of Brazil are being forced to recognise that reality. Microsoft can probably no longer buy their way into Government contracts with 'discounts' and whatever other tactics they might use.
Farming out developement of other software has got to be cheaper than paying M$ obscene liscensing fees. Furthermore, when you hire contractors, you can get a solution which fits better than an out of the package software-suite. At the beginning, they may have to send some of that work overseas, but they will probably find local talent pretty quickly.
Seriously, lets see 'PAY LICENSES' or 'FEED PEOPLE'
Ok the argument is not always about feeding the people. Paying license fees is not what third world countries want to do. I mention this as a start because it will shift to other things other than software, eg Drugs Patents, Copyrights, etc. The West better be paying attention, because people like the RIAA say, “Why do you need bread when you can eat cake!”