Venezuela has announced an official policy of preferring open source software products to proprietary ones in the public sector, according to an article by Linux Today's Brian Proffit.
Apparently, from now on all software developed for the government must be licensed under the GPL. Even software used for Internet access to e-government must run GPL'd apps on a GPL'd operating system. For new purchases, free software is to be preferred to proprietaty wherever practical.
Reasons for the switch include a desire to promote the local development community rather than enriching those in bondage to foreign software behemoths, and of course assisting in the good work of stamping out unlicensed software from government bureaux.
Piracy is of course a major concern of Microsoft, which for years turned a blind eye to the pestilence so long as world + dog was getting itself nicely addicted to their wares. Now, with nearly every government and business hopelessly dependent on their products, the company feels it's safe to tighten the screws and send in the BSA Taliban to kick doors and perform audits, leaving behind huge bills for licensing oversights.
No one needs this sort of treatment. But as Venezuela has just come to realize, the best way to appease Microsoft -- indeed, to assist them in this noble crusade -- is to replace their products with free ones.
Works for me. ®