October 17, 2005
The Butterfly Effect: Microsoft, Security, and the developing world
Charles Spencer writes "Much has been made of the argument in Open Source circles about the benefits that Open Source offers developing countries, as opposed to expensive or pirated versions of Microsoft. Some of the more common arguments run, contra-Microsoft, that the expensive and proprietary software that runs on Windows is holding back the developing world. Most imply, directly or indirectly, that somehow Microsoft is haggling with poverty. That is, school kids in China, Pakistan, and Guatemala are being denied access to modern education and technology via the proprietary licensing schemes of MS and the Software that runs on it. So it might be. However, what seems to escape such poverty calculations is the true impact of network security and viruses on developing countries and the impact on the World in general. Specifically, the impact that computer security has on development when networks are based on pirated, outdated, or generally insecure software. The largest and most obvious case would be China."
- Open Source