EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.09.11

Cablegate: “42 Percent of Argentine Firms Use Linux on at Least Some of Their Computers”

Posted in America, GNU/Linux at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: In a cable marked “sensitive”, US diplomats look at the digital state which Argentina is in

TECHRIGHTS covered Argentina several times over the years. Argentina, being a south American nation, has been quite GNU/Linux-friendly. Here are some posts that may be relevant to today’s Cablegate cable on “BRIDGING ARGENTINA’S DIGITAL DIVIDE”:

According to the following cable (¶11), “Linux is popular in Argentina due to its low cost, and 42 percent of Argentine firms use Linux on at least some of their computers.” Here is the cable in full:


ZCZCXRO9151
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBU #0748/01 0901858
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311858Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4016
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5452
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 5254
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0887
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 4068
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 5453
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 5058
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0428
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0137
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 1940
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 2842
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/USDOE WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BUENOS AIRES 000748
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD AND J5 FOR JUAN RENTA
USDOC FOR 4322/MAC/OLAC/BASTIAN/PEACHER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], EIND [Industry and Manufacturing], AR [Argentina]
SUBJECT: BRIDGING ARGENTINA'S DIGITAL DIVIDE
¶1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for Internet
distribution.
-------
Summary
-------
¶2.  (U) Argentina's IT industry is the third largest in
Latin America. Argentina's IT industry enjoys many
advantages and is growing quickly. IT companies expect
continued rapid growth and are investing heavily in
Argentina. There has been a boom in the number of small
U.S. hardware and software companies in Argentina in the
past two years. The growth in Argentina's IT industry has
left many Argentines behind. The GOA has instituted a
number of projects with mixed results to combat this digital
divide. Private companies are also sponsoring programs to
bridge the digital divide, and strong competition in both
the hardware and software sectors is driving prices down.
The private sector will likely prove more able than the GOA
to bridge Argentina's digital divide. End summary.
--------
Overview
--------
¶3.  (SBU) Argentina's IT industry is the third largest in
Latin America. Total IT production amounted to USD 1.3
billion in 2005, of which USD 250 million were exports. The
IT industry is responsible for one percent of Argentine GDP,
and employs over 48,000 Argentines, or 1.44 percent of the
total labor force. The largest IT consumers within
Argentina are the financial, government, telecom, oil, and
manufacturing industries. IBM, which is the largest IT
company in Argentina in terms of both sales and employment,
has 3,500 Argentine employees. IBM and EDS provide services
to many Latin American clients from Argentina. Intel will
soon begin its first production in South America with a
software development facility in Cordoba. Microsoft
maintains a presence in Argentina only for public relations
and marketing purposes. Smaller domestic and foreign firms
produce software, hardware, and services for mostly local
clients.
------------
Rapid Growth
------------
¶4.  (U) Argentina's IT industry enjoys many advantages.
Argentine workers are comparatively well educated. Since
the 2002 devaluation of the peso, Argentine skilled labor
has been competitively priced. The relatively large
domestic market allows firms to gain experience in the local
market before exporting, while the predominance of the
Spanish language gives Argentine companies access to
important export markets.
¶5.  (U) Argentina's IT sector is growing quickly. IT grew
29.3 percent in 2005, roughly triple the rate of the
Argentine economy as a whole, and generated 20,000 new jobs.
Domestic and export sales contributed equally to this growth
as exports increased 30 percent in 2005. Revenues from
hardware grew 37.6 percent, while revenues from software
grew 22 percent and revenues from services grew 20 percent
in 2005.
¶6.  (SBU) IT companies expect continued rapid growth and are
investing heavily in Argentina. IBM added 750 employees in
2005 and expects to add 500 employees per year over the next
four years. IBM would like to double this number of new
employees, but it is limited by the number of qualified
graduates, its ability to develop new managers to supervise
these new employees, and available office space. IBM is
currently looking for a local company to build and lease a
BUENOS AIR 00000748 002 OF 003
large new office building to house its new employees. Intel
recently began work on a multimillion-dollar facility in
Cordoba for 450 employees.
----------------------------------------
Explosive Growth of Small U.S. Companies
----------------------------------------
¶7.  (U) There has been a boom in the number of small U.S.
hardware and software companies in the Buenos Aires
neighborhoods of Palermo, Palermo Chico and Palermo
Hollywood during the past two years, according to industry
sources. Most of the firms are subsidiaries of U.S.
companies that are based in Silicon Valley, California,
Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina. They generally
employ 50 to 100 people and maintain a relatively low
profile. This expansion is also being felt in the
provinces. For example, a government official in the
province of Salta recently told the Economic Counselor about
a former Argentine employee of a U.S. software company who
now operates a company in Salta providing software for U.S.
companies. This is one of several such companies in that
province. U.S. firms move operations or outsource to
Argentina to take advantage of Argentina's relatively high
educational levels and low labor costs.
--------------
Digital Divide
--------------
¶8.  (U) The rapid growth in Argentina's IT industry has left
many Argentines behind. The population of Internet users
grew 40 percent in 2005, but computer use in Argentina is
still limited to the middle and upper classes. Only ten
million Argentines, or roughly a fourth of the population,
have regular access to the Internet. The vast majority of
these computer users are concentrated in the nation's
largest cities, according to a survey by Microsoft.
Approximately 20 percent of the population does not have an
equal opportunity to access the Internet because broadband
has not reached their poorer neighborhoods.
¶9.  (U) The GOA has instituted a number of projects with
mixed results to combat this digital divide. Argentina's
Ministry of Education together with the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology launched "One Laptop Per Child" in
2005. This program intends to distribute between 500,000
and 1 million low-cost laptops to poor children in
Argentina. Another Ministry of Education plan launched in
2005 intends to distribute 100,000 computers to 12,000
schools. The GOA also partly revived a plan to establish
Community Technological Centers (CTCs) after abandoning it
during the recession of 1999-2002. There are now 1,350 CTCs
in Argentina. A lack of funding and training hampers these
programs, according to the director of the Argentine
Telework Association and the director of projects for the
educ.ar program. An estimated 71 percent of Argentine
educators have never used the Internet, and only 3 percent
of Argentine Internet users regularly access the Internet
from an educational institution. By contrast, 60 percent of
Internet users go online in cybercafs, 41 percent go online
at home, and 14 percent go online at work, with many having
more than one mode of Internet access.
¶10.  (U) Private companies are also sponsoring programs to
bridge the digital divide. The "My PC Program," jointly
funded by 40 mostly Argentine firms, is designed to bridge
the digital divide by providing low-cost PCs to the nation's
poor. Seven of the eight largest supporters are U.S. firms,
including Intel, Microsoft, and HP. The eighth firm is
South Korean. The program sold more than 20,000 PCs for
approximately USD 800 per unit in April 2005. Other
programs, such as Intel's "Quality in Teaching" program and
BUENOS AIR 00000748 003 OF 003
Microsoft's "Alliance for Education Program" are also
bringing Internet access to the nation's poor.
¶11.  (U) Strong competition in both the hardware and
software sectors is driving prices down. The hardware
market in Argentina is extremely competitive and offers low
profit margins. The number of PC manufacturers with sales
and service networks in Argentina has increased from four to
17 in recent years. The software market is also
competitive. Linux is popular in Argentina due to its low
cost, and 42 percent of Argentine firms use Linux on at
least some of their computers. Microsoft released a Spanish-
language Windows XP "starter edition" to compete with Linux,
further reducing the cost of a new Internet-ready PC. The
impact of this competition is clear. Sales of PCs for home
use increased 93 percent to reach over one million units in
2005.
-------
Comment
-------
¶12. (U) The results of GOA programs to bridge the digital
divide have so far been disappointing. The private sector
will likely prove more successful in this area. End
Comment.
¶13. (U) To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

A 2009 survey in Italy showed that OpenOffice.org usage in the country is 50% among companies, with GNU/Linux at 63%. Just how understated is the impact of Free software as viewed from the States? A lot of the English-speaking news comes from there, pushing aside other claims and measurements, thus establishing a biased consensus.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

5 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    September 9, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Gravatar

    “A 2009 survey in Italy showed that OpenOffice.org usage in the country is 50% among companies, with GNU/Linux at 63%. ”

    Wait: are you saying OO.o was found to be used as much as MS Office or just used *some* in half the organizations? And are you saying Linux is used on the desktop 63% of the time or that it is used *some* in that percent of businesses.

    I suspect the lower but you portray it as if it was the higher.

    NotZed Reply:

    He’s saying something, but your demonstrated lack of ability to comprehend the written English language is simply letting you down. Again.

    I would feel sorry for you …

    Michael Reply:

    Clearly you have no idea. Why do you try to start flame wars here?

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Gravatar

    A lot of FOSS use is understated because the English-speaking media stops covering regions and activities once they go FOSS.

  3. mcinsand said,

    September 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Gravatar

    Something in this article knocked a few cobwebs loose, and this might be semi-off-topic. In 2003, however, Sam’s Club in the US was offering really inexpensive desktop computers with Debian preloaded. These quietly disappeared, though, a year or so later when I was finally disgusted enough with XP to make the jump. Anyone know anything about those offerings?

What Else is New


  1. Christoph Ernst, Long Speculated to be Battistelli's Successor, Becomes Battistelli's 'Boss'

    The next Chairman of the Administrative Council of the EPO is Christoph Ernst from Germany



  2. Bristows LLP is Still Trying to Attach Wings to the UPC and Distract From Serious (Likely Fatal) Barriers to It

    In spite of the UPC being in a morbid state, Bristows carries on pretending that all is rosy and progress is being made



  3. Letter Warns of “Reform Marathon” a Few Days Before Benoît Battistelli's Job is Offered to Someone Else

    New letter states that "although the AC pressurised the president to halt the reform process, the Office is unilaterally proposing further reforms"



  4. EPO Staff Bemoans “Another Reform à la Battistelli That Only Benefits Battistelli”

    A letter from anonymous EPO staff details the ways in which Battistelli's power grab would further harm the EPO



  5. Ignore the Press Releases and Puff Pieces, the EPO is Going on Strikes

    Unrest at the EPO is at an all-time high (strikes planned), but people out there can barely tell because the media -- for the most part -- ignores all this, just like the last time



  6. Links 27/6/2017: Manjaro Linux 17.0.2 is Out, Windows Ransomware on the Loose Worldwide

    Links for the day



  7. Links 26/6/2017: Lumina Version 1.3.0, Final Linux RC

    Links for the day



  8. EPO Strikes in All Four EPO Sites for Two Days This Month and Next Month, Under the “Respect Staff” Banner

    The impact of the strikes at EPO doubles, as two strikes in two months are scheduled, starting this week



  9. Latest EPO Caricature: Staff Committee Maintains Integrity

    Caricature about double failure of Battistelli last week -- a failure which shall result in a general strike fairly soon



  10. Voter Suppression Tactics by Team Battistelli Serve to Reaffirm View That the EPO is an Authoritarian Regime Which Loathes Voting

    In spite of the dirty tricks employed by Team Battistelli, staff managed to guard the integrity of the staff committee and vote for a strike; the dirty tricks, however, will not and should not be forgotten



  11. Leaked: Job Opening Advertised as Battistelli’s 'Mole' at the Administrative Council, Jesper Kongstad, Leaves in Shame

    Having disgraced the Administrative Council of the EPO, e.g. by protecting the person whom he is supposed to supervise, Jesper Kongstad will leave in 3 months



  12. As Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Ramps Up Its Campaign Against Software Patent Trolls the Patent Microcosm Attacks the Messenger (EFF)

    In an effort to thwart Alice and the EFF (two birds, one stone) the patent microcosm goes behind the scenes and saturates the media with misleading articles, including attacks on the EFF itself



  13. In Sandoz v Amgen, the Federal Circuit is Again Found to Have Delivered Patent Injustice

    SCOTUS continues to disagree with CAFC on everything that it decides to reconsider, even the very latest decision (formally delivered earlier this month)



  14. The Supreme Court Can Reassert the Legitimacy of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Later This Year or Next Year

    What lawyers-centric media characterises as a risk to PTAB may actually be an opportunity to silence critics of PTAB and help it carry on squashing bogus patents



  15. The US Patent Office (USPTO) Should Now be Headed by Drew Hirshfeld, a Patent Examiner Who Rose to the Top, Not a Lawyer Like Joseph Matal

    Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, pushes to the top the patent microcosm rather than technical people who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to run the Office as well as Michelle Lee did



  16. After Latest Supreme Court Rulings on Patents, Including Impression v Lexmark, the Federal Circuit is Left Disgraced

    Hostility towards the patent microcosm's patent maximalism, as witnessed at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), culminated in another decision and will soon result in yet more decisions, as SCOTUS has since then picked more patent cases to look at



  17. IBM, Apple and Facebook Pursue Software Patents in India in Defiance of the Ban

    Multinationals from the United States, or digital colonisers with ambitions to spy on and control finance, continue to behave as though Indian law is not applicable to their operations in India and repeatedly attempt to patent software anyway



  18. Wouter Pors Under Fire for Lying or Manipulating in the Name of the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The argument between Team UPC and other patent professionals (without a lot of eggs in the UPC basket) heats up as Wouter Pors resorts to desperate measures and Bristows belatedly admits constitutional problems in the UK



  19. Systemic Injustice at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Causes Serious Harm to Complainants' Health, Including EPO Complainants

    The high human cost of ILO's failure to fulfill its stated mission while pretending that it has things under control (that is clearly no longer the case, especially as far as EPO cases go)



  20. Links 24/6/2017: GNOME Music Improves, FreeBSD 11.1 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft and Bill Gates Become More Actively Involved in Their Biggest Patent Troll (and World's Biggest Troll), Intellectual Ventures

    The world's largest patent troll, which reportedly operates (litigates) through literally thousands of shells, has received yet more financial aid from Microsoft and Bill Gates



  22. The STRONGER Patents Act is One Among Several New Pushes for Patent Chaos in the United States

    US patent law is being 'massaged' again, with bills being pushed forth that propose a return to Armageddon, undoing much of the progress made possible by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA)



  23. SUEPO and the EPO's Central Staff Committee Condemn Battistelli's Latest Attempt to Change the Rules in Defiance of Laws

    Staff representatives at the EPO voice opposition to so-called 'reforms' which are neither desirable nor legal



  24. The Tide Has Turned Against the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and It Finally Looks as 'Alive' as TPP

    The UPC is now stuck if not dead because officials are realising -- however belatedly -- that this entire charade was from start to finish just a coup d'état of the patent 'industry'



  25. Potential Targets of European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing

    Priorities for whistleblowing at the European Patent Office (EPO), which operates secretly and occasionally illegally, too



  26. Links 23/6/2017: Wine 2.11 Released, HPC Domination by GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  28. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  29. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  30. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts