Free Software in Pakistan

I was asking myself, if Linux and GNU based software are so good, free and legal then why Pakistanis don’t go for them. Some reasons are pretty obvious and others, we will have to figure those out.

  1. Pakistanis who spend their time in front of computers at work are forced to work in a Microsoft Windows environment.
  2. Home users in Pakistan demand full multimedia support so that they could watch pirated videos on their computers and enjoy pirated music. So who cares about using a free legal software.
  3. Young computer users prefer to spend their time playing games and most such games are made for Windows. They also don’t like the way Linux based distros treat Instant Messaging. You can not show or view web cam of your MSN Buddies using Gaim.
  4. Small Businesses, aren’t they aware of the fact that Linux has tools which could increase their productivity.
  5. What about schools? Does any body ever tried to sell thin clients running on Linux to any local school? Like that $100 laptop thingie, can’t we do such a thing in Pakistan? May be we can not create a laptop but we can atleast equip schools with low price, highly reliable and better learning machines. Reading about edubuntu I think that it has so many learning oppurtunities, it is a great tool for schools.

There is a lot more to it. Please add your reasons in comments. Why you think Linux is not catching up in Pakistan?

Published by Noumaan Yaqoob

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Comments

  1. your points remain the same in Egypt, indeed in all the third world, or all the world expecting point 4
    in general, i think the main cause around all of those is ignorance, that’s the most enemy of free software and linux in particular, why people don’t use it ? because they don’t know it, or don’t know it can do, or at least doubt they can change their usage way and have fear of “the new life”
    and here is the community’s job, it is all about awarness

    btw, about edubuntu, i see it has a good purpose, though i think it had to be based on xfce rather than gnome

  2. Nice blog. I’ve been using linux since 1997, and i would advise you not to get disheartned. The OS has matured a lot, and only for the last couple of years has become very user friendly. I still remember how in kde 1.x you needed to move every configuration by hand 🙂
    The fact is both microsoft and the open source movement have got products that fit different needs. While you should indeed advocate open source, its a hard sell in countries where people can buy a copy of pirated windows for almost free too. And people know how to use windows more, and if it serves their purpose of watching movies then good for them. That shouldn’t dampen your own enthusiasm.

    By the way, kopete shows yahoo and msn webcams, i think its the only IM in linux that does. I tried gyache, but that didn’t work for me.

  3. this is the scenario not only in pakistan but india too mere bhai.. people either don’t even know that free softwares exist.. or they are just prejudiced that free softwares are nothin but loads of bugs.

    we should seriously work in order to create some awareness in this part of the world… i am afraid that general computer using masses of indian sub-continent will be left behind in the opensource revolution!

    i appreciate ur concern 🙂 keep doing good work like this!

    abhishek

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