…though, many countries (or departments within them) are already making the switch to open-source software. They save money up front because the software doesn’t cost anything, but there are other motivations, like security (they can inspect the source code) and, in some countries, the hope of generating jobs for local programmers and administrators.
If you believe the companies who are offering open-source packages–and not everyone does–the momentum is clearly on the free-software side, that the tide is turning, and even that the days of the proprietary-software monopoly are numbered.
As I mentioned at the end of the seminar: Let’s all meet back here in ten years and see how things turned out.
This obviously has very serious implications on the design and application of ICT4Peace systems, and may explain Microsoft’s recent push for open standards through SSE. In Sri Lanka, Sahana, the Peace Library, Echo, Voices of Reconciliation, VOR Internet Radio and several other projects by InfoShare all run on FOSS back-ends, demonstrating not just a growing commitment to FOSS in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sector, but importantly, an emphasis on open standards and interoperability.
PC’s = Empowerment?