Friday, October 26, 2007

France and Linux

I've just got back from a three day break in Lille. Lovely city, good food and friendly people. Anyway, on my way back by Eurostar I stopped at the railway station newsagents. I counted nine - yes nine - Linux magazines on their shelves - compared to maybe 20 MS Windows (tm) based magazines. This is in comparison to the average UK railways station where you will be lucky to find one.

Spain has been using Linux widely for a while, the Extremadura project for example. So why are these countries apparently so far ahead of the UK in behaving sensibly and using Free Software? I can think of a few possible reasons...
  • Language - the regionalisation of Linux may be one reason - it is easier to customise a Free Software solution for your needs;
  • Anti-Americanism - are there countries naturally more suspicious of US products?
  • Money - are there more people looking for low cost effective solutions in these countries?
  • Common sense - are we just slow on the uptake in the UK?
  • Risk aversion - is there something in the UK psyche that makes us more risk averse than others in Europe?
Well, thoughts please!

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