It's interesting to me, that following our deposition of the current regime in Iraq, a Linux User Group (LUG) has sprung up. Currently they only have two members, but I think that's a fantastic leap forward in both cultural and business thinking. Today, Slashdot broke a story on LinuxJournal from a tech-savvy American reporter in Baghdad as a follow-up to this event.
The thing that interests me about this is that Linux and the open source movement appear to be the first to grow, almost like a scab over a wound, in situations where a people are suddenly exposed to freedom of information and thought. I wonder if Microsoft sees this trend and is lobbying our current administration to not help bring oppressive and culturally strict nations into the realm of free thinking.
Considering such events as Peru going open source and MS bullying the Lindows operating system into not using the name "Lindows"; I think that open-source software is well on it's way to being the bootstrap technology for developing nations. Imagine if you lived in a country that strictly mandated what you could do, see, read and say. Then suddenly, those bans were lifted and you became exposed to open-source software, collaborative developing, and the vast untamed internet. Then, when you started to take advantage of these things, big American business steps in and wants to impose it's will on you. Wouldn't that remind you of your earlier oppression by your government? Anyway, it's my hope that Microsoft continues to embarrass itself lumbering through the china-closet of the newly-emergent tech world like a 800 pound Brahma bull.
Of course as a bespoke software developer, without Microsoft (and it's never-ending security patches and eclectic development environment), I'd be out of a job... at least until I could learn PHP/Python/PERL.