According to this post by CNET’s Matt Asay, Argentina’s government is considering moving its entire information technology infrastructure to open source. There’s nothing earth-shattering in Argentina’s cost-savings rationale for considering open source. In fact, governments (and corporations, for that matter) adopting open source is rather ho-hum at this point.
Matt also points out that an underlying driver behind this is software piracy. Open source helps Argentina comply with proprietary software license compliance by…gasp!…doing away with the issue altogether. Read Matt’s post for more on the cultural issues surrounding this.
What’s happening in Argentina is an example of the problem Microsoft and other proprietary companies have gotten into. Their businesses are based on selling restrictive software and enforcing licenses through organizations like the BSA. It’s a model that open source sent to the dustbin long ago. In fact, there is little doubt that their core license policing/anti-customer business model is driving sales for open source. Rather than locking customers in, it’s driving them away.