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Gabriel Cogo (Brazil) - Brazil and the Open Source Software

I have to admit that my actual knowledge of the open source market still is very superficial. But after participating in a big open source event here in Brazil, I can't keep ignoring the fact that open source software has been grown substantively, and has shed the label of not being a commercially viable option. The amount of big companies that are making or planning to start open source projects only gets bigger, all of them influenced by successful platforms and browsers - like Linux and Firefox - to mention the most famous.


In my opinion, one of the most interesting, attractive aspects of open source software is that all knowledge exchange benefits every participant. It can be good for the companies to create new solutions, for young programmers in search of more experience or a job; and for the IT users that have the possibility to attend their needs without having to deal with the costs of proprietary software.

So, what does Brazil have to do with this? Well, as an expanding IT market, it's not hard to realize that Brazil is a perfect place for open source ideas to develop, especially after the government has given intensive support; declaring the use of open source software in the public sector. If we take into account the additional presence of companies such as Intel and Oracle, we can grasp a good idea of the kind of business that will bear fruit. And, as said by John "Maddog" Hall, who needs no introduction for the open source community, Brazil has the potential to become the open source paradise of the next few years, combining efforts of software companies and the emphasis given to it by the Brazilian college community.


As someone new to open source technologies - but an optimistic one - I found myself wondering whether open source is the future of the technology sector. Of course when we talk about the choice of proprietary and open source software, it's important to acknowledge the commercial side, even if it also has a conflicting, idealistic potential. I have reasons to believe that we are heading into an open world, or maybe we have reasons to believe that this is still a Microsoft/Apple world?

P.s. for those curious about open ideas, I recommend the Project Cauã website, a good initiative here in Brazil.

Gabriel Cogo is studying for a Masters in Systems Information and Decision Analysis at UFRGS and has been working as a Sales Analyst for Gerdau SA.

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