“We recently closed a deal with the Nigerian Government. Maybe you heard about it, Steve. They were looking for an affordable hardware+software solution for their schools. The initial batch was 17,000 machines. We had a good deal to respond to their need: the Classmate PC from Intel, with a customized Mandriva Linux solution. We presented the solution to the local government, they liked the machine, they liked our system, they liked what we offered them, especially the fact that it was open, and that we could customize it for their country and so on.”
Then, your people get in the game and the deal got more competitive.
Now, we hear a different story from the customer : “we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward.”
full story here
As much as everyone would be surprised why ‘Nigeria’ should change its mind: buy the the PCs the Intel-powered classmate PCs from Mandriva…… but install Windows OS after the purchase, which is quite funny, the conclusion of the matter is: in Nigeria, anything can happen.
Considering that money could have greesed hands, an old friend could have been ‘reinstalled’, contracts would definitely have been inflated to a ‘reasonable degree’ where whoever is in charge of the deal would begin to have ‘reasonable doubts’ as to the original plan/agreements, the end result of the above is that nothing will really happen.
Microsoft should not even get happy now, coz at the end of the day, t’will be pirated copies of several Windows OS’ that will be installed on the PCs – assuming they finally land. Lets assume that Nigeria makes a mistake to buy MS licensed software, the copy/copies will be kept in the locker-room of the Oga-pata-pata who does not know how to use a computer – and who would keep the CD’s/Licenses in his custody as an ‘opressionary measure’, things would stay put in one place. Those goodies(classmate PCs)will eventually gather dust.
And besides, what is the idea of students using these computers when their teachers are computer-illiterate? when their is no electrical power in the schools? when the few handful of computer literate teachers are still undergoing ‘computer appreciation classes’? can I continue?
Before building a house, shouldn’t there be a solid foundation? I still maintain: as long as we don’t have leaders that are technologically inclined, I really don’t think we are going anywhere.