The government has been working hard to promote use of GNU/Linux and FLOSS in government but a consumers’ group is agitating to encourage local dealers to sell GNU/Linux and FLOSS instead of NoOS or FreeDOS on PCs to undercut illegal copying of that other OS.
“This project aimed to encourage the distribution of Ubuntu Linux instead of FreeDOS on new low-cost computers in order to provide consumers with free and open source software and thereby also reduce piracy. Many low cost computers that do not include Microsoft Windows are instead distributed with an operating system that is called FreeDOS which is free clone of the 30+ year old pre-Windows operating system, MSDOS.
Normally a consumer who buys a computer with such a system will delete the FreeDOS and installs a pirated copy of Windows to the computer, being oblivious of any free, legal alternative. Since open source softwares are a good free alternative, was proposed that a campaign should be done to educate the consumers to move from FreeDOS to Linux which is an open source operating system which is modern and fully featured and can be used instead of Windows. By doing so, the consumer is not at a disadvantage when trying to use the computer and also helps in reducing piracy which is the usual solution for most. Since the Malaysian government also supports open source software, FOMCA also looked at collaborating with the local open source community members to promote the use of free and open source software among Malaysian consumers.”
A survey of the public about experience with PCs and FLOSS during an educational campaign is here. It looks as if 22% of the public have purchased FreeDOS PCs but very few have purchased or even knew about FLOSS. It looks like Malaysia is fertile ground for FLOSS. The educational campaign was tiny in scope but definitely needs to be expanded. From the look of happy faces, GNU/Linux is just what many folks need.