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. White House Intervention Harms Android and Every Software Developer on the Planet

    US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli urges the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let APIs be covered by copyrights, rendering almost every program a potential copyright violation



  2. Microsoft Lobbying in India Shoots Down or At Least Weakens Free/Libre Software Policy

    Microsoft's covert efforts (lobbying with the help of public partners like NASSCOM) to eliminate an India-leaning software policy in India is finally paying off



  3. Propaganda Mode for UPC Agreement Whilst EPO Increasingly Grants Patents on Software

    In order to make the Unitary Patent a reality (towards a 'no place to hide' patent approach) misleading claims are being made



  4. Patents Are Not Source Code

    Ford is once again misleading regarding Open Source, mischievously associating a patent pledge with Open Source



  5. Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  7. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  8. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  9. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  10. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  11. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  12. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  13. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  14. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  15. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  16. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  17. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  18. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  19. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  20. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  21. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  22. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  23. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  25. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  26. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  27. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  28. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  29. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  30. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics


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