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. Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

    Links for the day



  2. European Patent Office Disorganisation: Problems With the Audit Mechanisms - Part IV

    A prelude to a long article about a thug called Topić, his controversial Battistelli-sponsored appointment, and the removal of auditory functions by Battistelli



  3. More Good News About Demise of Software Patents and Along With Them, Consequently, Patent Trolls

    A weekly roundup of news about patents in the United States and elsewhere, with special focus on software patents



  4. IRC Proceedings: June 22nd, 2014 – September 13th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  5. Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

    Links for the day



  6. CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

    The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft's competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest



  7. Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft Fakes 'Charity' and Uses Religious Groups to Acquire Lock-in in the Public Sector

    Microsoft's involvements with NGOs and with governments lead to more distrust, more surveillance, less freedom, and ultimately systemic corruption



  9. Bill Gates' Privatisation Crusade

    Mr. Gates, seeking to increase his huge profits and political power, reaches out to Catholic leaders and David Christian



  10. Tux Machines Under DDOS Attack

    Most of Tux Machines continues to work as usual, but some parts are temporarily restricted to keep the server running



  11. Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  15. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  16. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  17. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  18. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  20. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  21. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  22. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  23. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  24. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  25. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  26. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  27. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  28. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  29. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  30. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments


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