Costs Drive Adoption of FLOSS by Government of Kenya

Business Daily Africa may still not understand FLOSS but Katherine Getao does:

“Katherine Getao, the ICT secretary at the directorate of e-Government, said it costs a government agency about Sh237 million per annum to acquire and upgrade copyrighted software.

“Initially we expect this to reduce the government expenditure by 20 per cent but the bigger impact will be in three years time when we anticipate the savings will be up to 80 per cent,” she said. Among the databases intended for the shift in the first phase are those of the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Ministry of Finance, and Integrated Population, said Dr Getao.”

Yes, she can do the maths. Migration to GNU/Linux is a little short term pain for long term gain. For databases on servers etc. there is always a way to migrate the data and the computers can do most of the work. When it’s done, you are running FLOSS and never have to pay another round of licences. The same advantages apply to the client systems. Good news from Kenya.

A few statistics for Kenya:

  • one of the lowest GDP/capita, $1800 – You can bet costs matter.
  • corruption has dogged the economy but a recent change in government has brought better growth, 5% per annum.
  • population 43 million
  • unemployment 40%
  • AIDs is rampant with 1.5million infected people
  • only 22% of the population is urban and much of the economy depends on agriculture and weather.

Still millions are connected and wireless is very popular.

see Developers lined up for huge gains in software shift – Magazines |businessdailyafrica.com.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to Costs Drive Adoption of FLOSS by Government of Kenya

  1. Thorsten Rahn says:

    oldman for someone who can write old english you don’t understand the basics of culture.

    What the heck does this sentence even mean?!

    Your language deficits really are a great opposition to your wishing to express complex thoughts. But then again… your thoughts aren’t really overly complex. So it’s really a good match.

  2. oiaohm says:

    oldman for someone who can write old english you don’t understand the basics of culture.

  3. oiaohm says:

    oldman reality not stupid. Never fight an enemy on a battle field they control. Art of War. When I was younger I forgot this.

    So battling on TM Repository were its not ensured to be a fair fight is stupid and foolish when you know its not a fair fight.

    Reality you placed the challenge. I do have a blog I have set the place place that suites me. If you don’t like the place I selected you are free to suggest another one. Really you were wanting to set the topics as well. Come one where is your basic honour of the dual. One person chooses the weapons One person chooses the place. Fair fight.

    Please beware if you set the place I set the topics oldman and will not answer on any other topics end of story. This was not want you were wanting either. I choose to post here so I have to play with the topics and I was not challenged to be here.

    Reality you never considered that I play by a code.

    Thorsten Rahn
    –For the government this is probably a last-ditch effort to save face. As you can be fined for using pirated (Microsoft) software since the end of last year, they seemingly are putting up a scam front, trying to hide how much pirated (Microsoft) software is used in the government.–
    Does not work that way. Read you Microsoft licenses carefully there are clauses where Microsoft can inspect in volume licenses. Even decades latter there is no expire date.

    Common claim by Microsoft that there is pirate software. MS has sent in inspectors lots of times to find out that its not the case for most of the large FOSS migrations.

  4. oldman says:

    “Mind you after the insults about my sex origination and other things that happens the last time at TM repository I will take them on at my blog were I can delete anyone doing that. If they agree to get rid of what is not valid or at least mark it as such. There is lots on there that needs to go”

    As I suspected, you are a coward – all billys are.

    No matter – Enjoy your irrelevance Mr. Janitor.

  5. Thorsten Rahn says:

    For the government this is probably a last-ditch effort to save face. As you can be fined for using pirated (Microsoft) software since the end of last year, they seemingly are putting up a scam front, trying to hide how much pirated (Microsoft) software is used in the government.

  6. kozmcrae says:

    These articles on migrations to GNU/Linux brings the Cult of Microsoft out of the woodwork the most. They hate to see it happen. And it happens far too often for them. Keep it up Robert. I love to see them squirm.

  7. oiaohm says:

    oldman pointed to Malaysia for what the future of kenya could look like. Reasons Malaysia migrated were the same reasons.

    oldman I took the invite to TM repository when it first started. The grade of twits there has not improved. Defeated the idiots who where there then for failing to fact check. The group there today has the same fault. Did not stop them from being idiots back then. Back then they would not delete or mark invalid TM or FUD. Even if I provided all the references that it was. That is why people associated with TM repository I gave up providing links.

    Mind you after the insults about my sex origination and other things that happens the last time at TM repository I will take them on at my blog were I can delete anyone doing that. If they agree to get rid of what is not valid or at least mark it as such. There is lots on there that needs to go.

    Clarence Moon
    –The web server product market was almost from its inception dominated by Netscape.–
    Complete lie.
    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2012/09/10/september-2012-web-server-survey.html

    Netcraft has been around before Netsape made a server product.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCSA_HTTPd is not Netscape never was. NCSA dominated for a while but it mostly did not charge either. NCSA was replace by Apache as HTTPd server of preference. Happened once Apache had more developers than NCSA and could develop faster. Critical Mass effect.

    Same critical mass effect could happen to Apache HTTPd. In fact nginx is threatening to.

    The reality is Microsoft cannot throw enough resources at IIS to be competitive against Apache. Times when Microsoft pushes lots money at IIS its market share has grown but Microsoft is unable to maintain that. At this stage can throw Microsoft enough to be competitive against nginx. Netscape faced the same problem.

    The Critical Mass effect is lethal and its double sided. Trend setting is one thing. Having the enough staff behind you to be able to feature beat your competitors is another thing. You can have the trend. If you don’t have the Critical Mass to support the trend you will not profit from it. The trend will fade away.

    Clarence Moon
    –If anyone bought a web server, it was Netscape Enterprise Server and many pundits at the time suggested that Netscape with its seeming lock on web servers and browsers would be the “next Microsoft” and soon put Bill Gates and his wares into the discount bin for a closeout sale.–

    Apparently you read some people who could not do fact checking. Netscape never got the critical mass to have more full time developers than Microsoft.

    Netscape never got to a dominate location compared to the competition in anything other than browsers.

    Clarence Moon
    –Zero dollars, zero market–
    Funny Redhat and IBM do very well from the Web-server market. Its not a zero market. There is still a market for support. You still need to provide product to get that Market.

    Thorsten Rahn places like Malaysia have being doing it over over 10 years. Almost all its government departments are Linux only. The reality Linux works for lots of roles. 700 out 724 are Linux only.

    Thorsten Rahn not to say Linux cannot work better. Yes there is a big F**K this don’t work when people start migrating from Windows to Linux base environments. Due to the incompatibilities. I have never said that was not the case. Issue is those incompatibilities are reducing.

    Argument that Linux does not work does not hold water. Or places like Malaysia would have been forced to migrate back. Only major dispute really is cost of migration.

    The 80/20 split does basically hold. If you look at Malaysia the split goes way past that 96/4 yes 96 percent Linux 4 percent Windows. That is there government OS split. So Windows in Malaysia government computers is approaching insignificance. That percentage has been drifting up over the years they have been running.

    This is why I don’t believe Munich will stop at 80 percent. The past government migrations suggest it will drift in the director of 95 percent over time.

    Result is Linux more dominate inside these governments that complete Linux Migration than what Microsoft is in the General OS market.

    Yes if I quote just the percentage from the governments that have got through migration you guys would be pick over and over again if you were not told that the Linux percentage was the Windows number because it will look right.

  8. oldman wrote, “Way to Go Kenya!”

    The way you twisted facts to your point of view is amazing, oldman. The move was made because Wintel was costing too much. The move was made because the government was convinced FLOSS could do the job. The move was made because the government knows Kenyans can make their own software in cooperation with others around the world and that it will be good software. Businesses are also using GNU/Linux to optimize price/performance.

  9. Also you got it wrong Apache httpd proved that the market does not have to be milk dry before most closed source is destroyed.

    It is unfair and undignified to argue with a moron such as yourself, Mr. O, and I do feel a sense of embarassment doing so, but it is a slow day and you have served up such a monumental example of your lack of understanding that I feel compelled to comment.

    The web server product market was almost from its inception dominated by Netscape. If anyone bought a web server, it was Netscape Enterprise Server and many pundits at the time suggested that Netscape with its seeming lock on web servers and browsers woud be the “next Microsoft” and soon put Bill Gates and his wares into the discount bin for a closeout sale.

    History proved differently, though, as Microsoft showed Netscape that it was far easier for Microsoft to provide a browser than it was for Netscape to provide an OS. Apache only gave Netscape the coup de grace once its principal position was marginalized by IE and windows. When Netscape departed, all of the money in the system went with it and web servers ceased to be a product market at all.

    Zero dollars, zero market, it is as simple as that, although that may be too cerebral for you to understand, Mr. O. Perhaps if you concentrated on the words just two at a time…

  10. oldman says:

    “Clarence Moon if I wanted recognition I would have facebook and other things. About time you guys grow a brain the reason why you cannot find background information on me is that I don’t care if I disappear from existence.”

    entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate

    The more likely real reason is that the hamster is a fraud.

    BTW Hamster TMR has requested your presence for a discussion. I am sure that you are reading what is said. The question is do you have the balls to man up and take him on?

  11. Thorsten Rahn says:

    That you don’t understand what Critical Mass is you must be a down right poor marketer.

    Luckily we have you in our midst. If Linux ever reaches critical mass in the Australian outback, please do tell.

    No, really, critical mass for Linux is defined as follows: the number of random breakdowns of Linux it takes to make a user shout “F**k that!”, and to go back to what works — which is not Linux. Usually this critical mass is reached very, very soon.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon
    –I believe it refers to the amount of fissionable material necessary to create a nuclear explosion–

    http://opensourcearchiving.org/content/promise-and-peril-open-source

    Their is FOSS define to Critical Mass. With only trendsetting you don’t understand the problem.

    Critical Mass also a marketing term. In marketing term its the point that a trend will take off and take on a life of its own.

    That you don’t understand what Critical Mass is you must be a down right poor marketer.

    –Trendsetting causes the aping of successful endeavors by those who are not leaders themselves and who follow on in the wake of the trendsetting folk.–

    Trend start off with small numbers. So you don’t need large numbers to start a trend.

    This is where Critical Mass applies. Once the force behind a Trend reaches that point is growth increases very quickly.

    The point we don’t know exactly what is the Critical Mass point. From Apache and other prior major FOSS take overs of particular markets we know a few things.

    1) Community size behind the project is a factor. Large better.
    2) business/government funding.
    3) Features. Again this need 2.

    Even Android obeys this. Each conversion is a step closer to critical mass. We are seeing trend setting in Malaysia. Where the government is being the trend setting party.

    Clarence Moon really you need to look at a lot of the current Linux alterations. Audio hardware accelerations fixing up video output. Closed source video drivers being redesigned. Not happened for 12+ years. Other Unix like OS’s like FreeBSD and Solaris are not being considered by Nvidia ATI and others.

    Clarence Moon something has happened in the last 2 years to change video card makers point of view. Right android. Now the Linux kernel usage is at Critical Mass level. That hardware makers have to support it to a point to make sales.

    Result is going to be a massive boost in the quality of the Linux kernel for Desktop usage.

    LibreOffice has a critical mass factor as well. Currently it has enough full time developers that it can catch up with MS Office.

    Also you got it wrong Apache httpd proved that the market does not have to be milk dry before most closed source is destroyed.

    Clarence Moon if I wanted recognition I would have facebook and other things. About time you guys grow a brain the reason why you cannot find background information on me is that I don’t care if I disappear from existence.

  13. oldman says:

    After some time and after arriving at a general level of affluence, the trend becomes the only choice and establishes itself as an expectation on the part of the consumer.

    And indeed Mr. Moon we have the following from he article given by the hamster as proof of his position that he somehow forgot to read that describes why the Kenyan government took the steps it did

    The move was in response to the low regard with which computer users have held locally developed software in favour of global brands such as Microsoft.

    Surprise, Surpise, people wish to use what works Does the Kenyan government people really believe that they are going to be able to legislate their peoples wishes out of existence?

    I also wonder when someone is going to ask how the substitution of one global brand (Closed source) with another (FOSS) helps the Kenyans? Or how repatriating the value of any truly original software that Kenyans develop that they might reap the benefit of right into the FOSS community is going to benefit Kenya.

    SO the kenyan government will destroy any nascent software industry Kenya might have develped oand replace it with a nation of maintainers of others peoples code.

    Way to Go Kenya!

  14. Clarence Moon says:

    Maddog Hall had a story to tell…

    Such a colorful name, Mr. Pogson! But he seems blinded by the light the same way as yourself.

    You brag that “the Linux Professional Institute is thriving there” and demonstrate that with an anecdote of 6 people struggling to create a program with FLOSS tools, most others choosing to go elsewhere and ignore the whole conference during their “break”. I don’t know how many students there are at this Strathmore University, but only being able to muster 6 students for such a key event either denies that the movement is thriving or else shows it to be a very small movement indeed.

    In the same article, Maddog notes “Which brings up Dr. Getao’s last point, that she is a little concerned about the mentality of present day young IT people that everyone wants to be a “Bill Gates” or “Steve Jobs”. This I can not help her with, as it is a point of culture. As long as we continue to praise and recognize people due to their wealth, and at the same time tear down people that do public service, we will continue to have this. When our values as a people come back to those of raising a family, supporting the community, protecting the environment for the next generation, thinking years ahead instead of only months or weeks, then we will see young people follow the proper path.”

    So he is himself presented with the evidence of the effect of trendsetting as I mentioned above, yet he fails to see it as dominating, even while conceding that it is a controlling effect.

  15. Clarence Moon says:

    Clarence Moon do you know the term Critical Mass

    I believe it refers to the amount of fissionable material necessary to create a nuclear explosion, Mr. O. Here in the USA we have a considerable amount of such things and perhaps you do not understand the meaning, having none of your own.

    In any case, it does not pertain at all to Kenyans use of Linux, now or in the future. What governs such decision is termed “trendsetting” which evolves over time to “user expectations” and those psychological forces generally govern mass market purchasing.

    Trendsetting causes the aping of successful endeavors by those who are not leaders themselves and who follow on in the wake of the trendsetting folk. So if you are a consumer in one of the backward areas and see a wealthy nation in the Americas or in Europe using the newer and newer Windows versions in their daily lives, the tendency is to select the same technology if you are able to afford it. After some time and after arriving at a general level of affluence, the trend becomes the only choice and establishes itself as an expectation on the part of the consumer.

    Suggesting that this phenomenon will go away due to the trivial economics of Linux vs Windows is just plain stupid thinking on your part, but such a realization is not likely to occur in your calculus. But I know better and so do the people who set the course for new product development.

    Linux is lost in the noise level and can only succeed if and when no one cares any longer about the effect and appearance of the technology, but that finally happens when the last drop of commercial profits have been milked from the markets and everyone has gone on to newer and better things.

    Some day in the far future, Microsoft will have withered away much the same as DEC and Sun and many others who once led in the IT world, but they will be replaced by others who triumph in the same way and none of them will be in the mold of a FLOSS provider. So far, Microsoft has had its greatest revenue and profit year yet and shows no sign of such an early demise. Keep wishing and hoping, it may cheer you through many depressing days of seeing your pets struggle for any recognition at all.

  16. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon do you know the term Critical Mass.

    –I think that it can be a blessing in that Linux is better than nothing and will likely form the seed for an eventual transition to Windows and compliance with more advanced countries’ systems as has happened to other emerging nations.–

    They were running Windows before starting Migration to Linux. So French migrations of most of there government to Linux some how france is not a developed country??

    The reality here Clarence Moon Microsoft is losing governments all over the map.

    http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/74715.html
    Lots of developed countries are being forced see what the can do with FOSS as well.

    If you want to see what these migrations will look like after 10 years of Linux Desktop usage.
    http://www.oscc.org.my/content/view/9/15/

    Yes Malaysia. They have moved from just using Linux for almost everything government to training the public on using Linux.

    So over the last 10 years Microsoft has be unable to convert Malaysia back Clarence Moon.

    The more of theses that dig in the more full time developers Linux will have.

    Clarence Moon the bump of converting to a FOSS desktop is high. The bump converting back from a FOSS desktop to Windows is also high. So once a government has crossed bump it getting them back is near on impossible.

    Next problem is all businesses in that country have to deal with the government OS choices.

    This is a domino effect. Yes if you look at web surveys. Malaysia has higher than the average Linux usage.

    Basically if you get the government you also get the business users in that area to a percentage.

    Emerging nations not all have converted to Microsoft after time.

    Clarence Moon the serous question is home much market share does Linux need to have the same development force and Microsoft and the Closed Source. This is the critical mass point. Some of the critical mass has been crossed due to Android.

    Like after 12 years closed source video makers for Linux are now sitting down and planning a new driver system.

    Every one Microsoft fails to convert back Clarence Moon is one step closer to critical mass being achieved.

  17. Clarence Moon wrote, “It is indeed unfortunate that countries like Kenya are so impoverished that they cannot afford to match the information technology systems available in richer lands.”

    Not so. Kenya has learned from our mistakes. For instance, they are saving $billions by skipping copper and going straight to wireless thus enabling them to connect the country much faster and cheaper. By using GNU/Linux, a superior OS, they will do the same with the PC and server. Their chief hold-up is manpower but the local economy will be stimulated by hiring local entrepreneurs and manpower to install and to operate FLOSS systems so that will take care of itself. In my experience, a year or more is required to go from complete newbie to being a functional system administrator for individuals and small organizations so the shortage in manpower could be gone within a few years. They are at critical mass now, having included those considerations in planning. While the savings on software may be necessitated by fiscal matters, it’s still an excellent recipe for fixing may problems in Kenya like unemployment and education. The government is likely the largest business in Kenya so the government’s role in setting the trend in motion is huge.

    The decision to use FLOSS has compound effects. Savings on licences permits better use of hardware which leaves more money for employing Kenyans. Kenyans, seeing employment opportunities will have motivation to be educated and also adopt FLOSS. The cycle will continue. That other OS has its ecosystem, too, but there’s no denying that huge streams of money leaving Kenya for permission to use its hardware is utterly foolish.

    BTW, FLOSS and GNU/Linux are not shaky, but flexible. There’s a difference. The flexibility to run IT with less malware, fewer re-re-reboots, less phoning home and lower licensing costs is huge. The ability to examine the code stimulates the economy with all kinds of young people and start-ups having a lower cost of entry. It may be somewhat chaotic at first but in the long run Kenya will be better off for having made this decision.

    Incidentally, Maddog Hall had a story to tell about the prime actor in this article… see Into Africa: A visit to Kenya on Software Freedom Day, 2012

    The Linux Professional Institute is thriving there.

  18. It is indeed unfortunate that countries like Kenya are so impoverished that they cannot afford to match the information technology systems available in richer lands. Enabling their infrastructure on the shakey grounds of Linux and FLOSS are the sort of stopgap measures that one might expect in these circumstances. I think that it can be a blessing in that Linux is better than nothing and will likely form the seed for an eventual transition to Windows and compliance with more advanced countries’ systems as has happened to other emerging nations.

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