Microsoft is Losing to Linux in China, Pakistan
By Mario Rodrigues
Date: January 5, 2002
Prior to China's joining the
World Trade Organization, certain obligations were required to meet the
entry requirements. One of these requirements was to effectively curtail
the use of illegal software, the majority of which is Microsoft based.
Having now started to put this stipulation into action, the Redmond-based
software giant could now end up being the biggest loser.
In December, the Beijing municipal government awarded contracts to six local software vendors. One of the winners was Linux OS developer Red Flag. A seventh vendor was rejected - Microsoft. No doubt, the reasons for this decision were cost, avoiding dependency on Microsoft, and furthering the goal of developing China's own software industry.
In Pakistan, Linux is also growing rapidly. The government there cannot afford to upgrade its Windows based servers, so it too is now switching to Open Source operating systems. Like China, pirated Microsoft-based software is currently in the majority. Since Pakistan wants to become legitimate as well, Linux is the only cost effective way to go.
If this trend becomes typical in the developing world, Microsoft could end up losing these very important emerging markets to Linux.
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