I'm not an expert in this domain but I think there are some considerations
and outlooks concerning Windows/Linux in general and in Africa specifically.
- Illegal copies of Windows are spread widely and are easily accessible today
- Windows still stays somewhat easier for non-experienced IT workers
(therefore the choice). Particularly installation of side-programmes are
often easier (though an arsenal of Open Source progs exist)
- In the long term it will become tougher to get hold of cheap illegal
Windows copies (because of better software protection and enforced
copyrights - even in Africa...)
- Therefore in the long term there will be a shift towards Open Source,
particularly Linux in low-income countries.
Personally I would go for Open Source solutions for cost reasons. Also,
online support on websites and in chat rooms is great. The cost for
commercial solutions won't come down for developing country markets and
will stay too high proportionally. Paying the full price for Windows
doesn't make sense for an SME company in a developing country (and mostly
not even in OECD countries). And as Sun Microsystems is strongly supporting
Star Office (comparable to MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc), the supply for
professional office programmes is assured even on the desktop level.
Would be interested in any comments!!
Cheers from a medium-cool winterday in Lausanne, Switzerland,
At 10:41 09.01.2004 +0000, Uwe Wahser wrote:
>I somehow miss the traffic on AFRIK-IT caused by the cumulated internet and
>Y2K hypes :-) Are there still experts left? I have a specific question
>about the aktual usage of tools when setting up a web-server in a
>francophone African setting.
>We were thinking about setting up a Linux/Apache server for a small intra-
>net kind of WebServer for a public service. This would have been our
>standard platform in the western hemisphere.
>When looking at the IT infrastructure in the capital, we had the feeling
>that in the specific country (Guinea) Linux only played a minor role. I was
>a little surprised, since most of the local IT-professionals I met, had
>undergone training on Linux servers during their studies in African
>What is your experience/estimation? Is it feasible to invest into
>OpenSource servers in Africa or better go with the commercial solutions?
>What are the international NGOs mainly riding on and what do you think is
>tia for your advice,
University of Lausanne
Tel: +41 (0)21 692.34.20