I saw yet again another article about open source in other countries.

Why do I care? because China, Japan and Korea (IIRC) are developing their own official distribution of linux. Germany is implementing a linux conversion of a whole bunch of machines. I see one of these every few months for another country. Even the state of Mass has recently passed legislation stating that all future documents need to be done in the Open Document format (a format MS refuses to support, despite the fact that they helped design the format).

Open source is growing. Let’s do a little mental excercise. suppose that the top 10 richest countries continued to use MS, and the rest moved on to Open source for financial reasons. What would happen?

Well, the OSS countries would be able to work together to increase the value of their software. As more countries used it, more bug reports would be filed, and the general quality of the software would improve. those countries who could barely afford MS products would have cash freed up to hire their own people to make changes to the software. They will become more independent. Their own people are suddenly more valuable, and can take work from over seas. It’s not like software development requires you to sit in a small room with a boss looking over your shoulder every 10 minutes. This could make outsourcing a viable option for every business, large or small. The system will continue to feed itself, gaining better developers, and providing better software. Where will it stop? Who knows, but I get the feeling we’re going to get a chance to watch.

And for those who are worried about my outsourcing comments and are convinced OSS is bad because of it, think of this: MS are the same people that brought you Frontpage, Access and Visual Basic. They made programming and web development “simple for the masses” meaning every drooling middle management goon can now design a database, create a program and make a webpage about it. Where do you fit in? oh, you get to fix their frontpage code 2 years down the line when it “loads too slow” because it’s 2 Megs in size.