Today Martin pointed me to an article about Brazil and digital inclusion and reading it I discovered that CNET News has some special coverage on computing in Latin America – “Las fronteras de la Informatica“.

So I found three articles on Brazil which I want to present and sum up here.

Brazil: Digital Inclusion, but how?

The article starts with introducing OldNet, a Brazilian initiative where college students teach elderly people how to use the computer and the internet.

It goes on with complaining about the lacking strategy of governments in their technology policy – often there are just bought big numbers of computers without taking into account training of users or maintaining.

“A computer won’t reduce the digital divide by itself,” (Gartner analyst Luis) Anavitarte said. “It’s a first step, but it’s not even the most important one in my mind.” [from here]

Then the efforts of Microsoft in that area are lined out. The plan of them is to start a economically sustainable chain of internet cafes, also to reach the remote areas. Therefore they teamed up with the NGO CDI which has already several telecentres running, even outside of Brazil (and even in Europe).

Brazil’s love of Linux

The article is about open-source software usage in Brazil. The government was one of the first do declare Linux as their preferred standard and in universities many projects run on open-source software.

Subsequently a local Brazilian project similar to the OLPC one is presented. It’s about creating Linux-based table top computers for students.

Finally a general manager of Microsoft is interviewed to talk about the challenges they face in Brazil

Brazil: An emerging market faces challenges

This article is more about the economy of Brazil. Whereas it is part of the influential block BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), it still faces big economical problems like huge gaps between the rich and the poor, high unemployment or a bad education system.

Anyway the IT market is very strong and a lot of multinational companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google, HP or Dell as well as own brand like Positivo perform quite well.

“As a PC sales market, Brazil is unquestionably strong–having passed countries like Germany to become the fifth-largest computer market in the world. It’s also a hub for banking technology and open-source software. At the same time, it is a place where abject poverty abounds, meaning that there are millions whose needs are much more basic than a new PC.” [from here]

I want to leave these articles uncommented, they should just give an overview what’s happening right now in the Worlds’ fifth largest country.

was published on 28.08.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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