Saying No to Microsoft

Some countries are replacing Microsoft with Linux. Cost and flexibility may be the issue

Marie Hippenmeyer / AFP / Getty

What do the U.S. Department of Defense, the city of Munich and the radical President of Venezuela have in common? All three are ditching Bill Gates. More and more governments are turning to open-source software like Linux as a cheaper, more flexible alternative to Microsoft's proprietary programs (Microsoft declined to comment for this story.) Linux, in particular, is proving irresistible in the developing world. In Brazil, when Microsoft offered to install Windows in school computers pro bono, Brazil's chief technology officer caused a stir by comparing the company to drug dealers giving the first hit free. The cities of São Paulo,...

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