Brazil: Free Software’s Biggest and Best Friend, by Todd Benson

Friday, April 1, 2005

Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz In?cio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement.
Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva’s watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.
Now Brazil’s government looks poised to take its free software campaign to the masses. And once again Microsoft may end up on the sidelines.
By the end of April, the government plans to roll out a much ballyhooed program called PC Conectado, or Connected PC, aimed at helping millions of low-income Brazilians buy their first computers.
Story found here.

Source: The New York Times