I read in the news that Microsofts launch of Windows 8 is somehow a commitment to Africa[and its children, I imagine]
What has Microsoft offered the average small business over the last 10 years?
0. Operating System
1. Word processing
2. Math processing [excel]
The average business function is satisfied with the solution provided 10 or even 15 years ago. I have to say that I've always been a reasonable fan of Microsoft, and their office suite has struck me as immensely valuable. As an amateur software developer I've come to realize how important it is to buy software.
Writing software is hard work, and it time consuming. There are rules and guidelines that help make the work easier down the line etc, but still. It takes a lot of time to write a piece of software, and to get it as good as MS Office... well that takes a well organized team and a couple of years.
At the same time I have to state that Microsoft has systematically started to become a form of mafia style organized crime.
I don't understand for a second why later versions would render and old format incompatible. Programming platforms are of such a nature that your software code gets recompiled and rebuilt on new platforms, so the technology is consistently able to reuse old work. Even with 32 and 64 bit processors, old software still works, and simply can get recompiled and rebuild in milliseconds to work again on new hardware.
Old ideas can get compiled with new ideas and new pieces of software can be compatible with old documents, and old businesses.
As we all know. Microsoft does not remain compatible with Microsoft a few years down the line.Your business needs remains the same, in that you create documents or emails, but somewhere down the line you will have to buy email, word processing & math processing again.
Why is this legal?
I consider organized crime to be defined as such:
When a entity or group forces another to purchase something, outside of their free will I consider the act immoral and criminal. Examples would be to pay a mafia boss money for protection, or to give up money at gun point etc.
Does Microsoft fit this criteria? Well the simple answer is yes, they do. It is not very apparent, but when you start looking into the strategic partnerships with hardware vendors and the support they offer and cancel, it becomes clear that you will be upgrading sooner than you think. They force you to buy again, and eventually that takes its toll on the economy. Microsoft's business strategy is of such a nature that it will be in government, one way or another, and ultimately you will have to be compatible with your local or national authorities. You may be a couple of daisy chain hops away from the epicenter but it will affect you and your business
Buying software functionality again, has an influence on the economy. Money that could have been spent developing a community has been spent on maintaining your business functionality.
How many meters of water pipe could Africa have bought with the money that government departments have spent on regaining/maintaining business functionality? if one takes into account that water falls freely from the sky, and that water pipe that has function in rural areas are relatively cheap, one can quickly do a sum with your old excel and find that software alone sets back our poor for thousands of years.
Lets assume that there are a hundred thousand government employees working on microsoft office.
the software cost amounts to about R 5000 per pc[using the most basic of office packages]. that amounts to R 500 000 000 spent every 3-5 years.
So within 5 years a Billion rand has been spent on maintaining the operations of government... which then trinkles down to your businesses etc. Ultimately the whole country "upgrades" software and "downgrades" development while Africa's children are playing in the dirt with AK 47's trying to maintain life.
It is wrong, and it is a Genuine disadvantage... Especially for Africa