In less than 1.5 years the Venezuelan governement went from zero, creating a partnership with a Chinese company, to mass production of affordable desktop and laptop computers running free software (full specs here), with a big price difference compared to other local offerings, up to 40%! This is less than 3 years after announcing a massive move to free software in all government agencies.
Although they remain vague in the choice of operating systems, all the annoucements about the « Bolivarian » Computers launch do mention they will run Gnu/Linux and » be compatible » with Windows. Even production is local. And what capacity do they have ? 150K units a year, that’ s right 150 000 systems every year. In case you haven’t noticed, Ecuador and Cuba have recently announced free, open-source software policies to replace existing IT operations agressively. Coincidence ? I think not.
Scrolling down to the very last question in their FAQ, we can see:
De manera consecuente con la misión de alcanzar la Independencia Tecnológica de la Nación, VIT promueve el empleo del Software Libre, por lo que los equipos son entregados a solicitud del cliente con sistema operativo bajo ambiente Linux, siendo compatibles con Knoppix, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Debian y otros.
which translates to
Followin our mission to reach Technological Independency of our Nation, VIT promotes the use of Free Software, so the systems are delivered to customers with Linux operating systems, compatible with Knoppix, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Debian and others.
Other related resources:
- Free Software Foundation Latin America
- Ututo, a 100% free Gnu/Linux distribution from Argentina
- Success for free software in LatinAmerica
- Free Software Carnival: Latin America Takes to FLOSS in a Big Way
- Debian in Venezuela, International Projects and Debian User Groups.
- Free Software conference in Bolivia (seemingly the only free software event there since 2005)
(old but surprisingly accurate)