Campaign to promote Open Source Software to consumers

This year FOMCA would like to participate in the National Campaign on A2K Policies by promoting open source software to consumers. This project aims to encourage the distribution of Ubuntu Linux instead of FreeDOS on new low-cost computers in order to provide consumers with more useful free software and thereby also reduce piracy. Many low cost computers that do not include Microsoft Windows, are instead distributed with an operating system that is called FreeDOS which is free clone of the 30+ year old pre-Windows operating system, MSDOS. 

Normally a consumer who buys a computer with such a system will delete the FreeDOS and installs a pirated copy of Windows to the computer, being oblivious of any free, legal alternative.  Since open source softwares are something that consumers are encouraged to use or look for, it is suggested that a campaign should be done to educate the consumers to move from FreeDOS to Linux which is also an open source operating system which is modern and fully featured and can be used instead of Windows. The popular version of Linux is called Ubuntu and by doing so, the consumer will not face any disadvantage and its helps in reducing piracy.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations or its acronym, FOMCA is a national non-governmental organization, which is voluntary, non-profit, non-political, and civic oriented. It is the umbrella body of registered consumer associations in Malaysia. FOMCA links the activities of consumers' associations in Malaysia and works together with the national and international levels towards strengthening consumer protection and Since the Malaysian government also supports open source software, FOMCA is looking at collaborating with the local open source community members to promote the use of this open source among the Malaysian consumers.

Overall objective: Increase the uptake of free, legal software for Malaysian consumers

Specific objective: Create awareness among Malaysian suppliers and consumers to    encourage the use of open source software which is the Ubuntu Linux instead of FreeDOS to provide a better computing experience and also reduce piracy

Activities:

  1. Conduct an awareness seminar/workshop on piracy issue and access to knowledge. In this session, we can introduce the Ubuntu Linux operating system and how vendors and consumers can play a role in fostering the uptake of open source software and thereby reducing piracy.
  2. Collaborating with the local community to promote the use of Ubuntu Linux among consumers
  3. Promoting this campaign in our existing consumer websites under FOMCA.

Impact expected:

Consumer to have at least an awareness of the existence of free open source software and that they do have an alternative choice and at the same time can help in reducing piracy without having any disadvantage. We aim for this campaign to get the attention of the industries as well as the government to come up with policies to encourage more open source software and move towards having more awareness session to make consumers understand and aware of their choices.

1 comment

Campaign to promote Open Source Software to consumers

Great campaign. Consumer awareness of the free open source software is very limited. Most often its tech savvy consumers and those in the IT industry who are aware of open source software and use these a lot. Here in Fiji knowledge about open source is non-existent! Software prices are ridiculously high - some even higher than the price of high-end desktops. Hopefully we can learn from FOMCA and perhaps undertake a similiar initiative here.

Cheers.

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