Alex's post on Lula earlier today neglected to mention that Lula's administration, in late August, announced a strategic plan to begin using open source software at all levels of government. This article gives more details.
Although the financial benefits of moving away from commercial/proprietary software can be substantial (Brazil pays something on the order of $1.2B annually for proprietary code), the Brazilian government is aware of the bigger issues at stake:
The Ministers of Science and Technology, Roberto Amaral, and Culture, Gilberto Gil, also argued for the use of free software as a strategy for development and digital inclusion. [...] Gil affirmed that free software represents a democratic model of liberty and autonomy in the digital world.
Comments seem to up and running. Coolness!
Free open source software is the
foundation of the internet and a big
reason for its success.
A few projects worth mentioning OpenOffice.org
- a free office suite,
Apache - the ultimate web server, and
numerous smaller projects that are
often the work of one or two motivated programmers.
As the saying goes give a brick and get a house.