19 January 2007

India is beating the US to Linuxhood

Now the State of Kerala has declared support for Linux.

Kerala is the most literate State in India.

With this steady stream of States declaring support for Linux, it looks like years of outsourcing to India may be bearing fruit for the USA: Indians have learned to be suspicious of Windows, it seems.

So... ten years down the track, will the US industrial might still keep them leading the pack, so to speak, or will technically-brighter Indian states be working in new & interesting ways to make India an industrial super-power?

This can make much more sense if the world’s population is modelled as 100 people, which simplifies some of the differences.

  • 50 of them are women.
  • 58 would be Asians, 12 would be Africans, two-thirds of a person would be ANZ.
  • 20 would get three quarters of the income, and 20 more would get 2% between them.
  • A third would not have clean, safe drinking water.
  • Half would be illiterate.
  • 7 would own a vehicle (93 would not).
  • Half of a person would be a soldier, three-quarters of a person would teach, one-tenth of a person would be a doctor.
  • $18,000 a year would be spent on weapons, $16,000 for education & $13,000 for health care.
  • This village of 100 people would have enough nukes buried under it to turn it into a molten, smoking crater...
  • & controlled by up to 10 of the people.

And so on.

India will be pushing to make sure that its people (of the 8 who spoke Hindi etc) were running the industries & were part of the 20 with real income. So will the USA.

The USA (5 people) has a default lead, but if they are careless with that, then they won’t. They’ll lose it to the 8 Latin Americans or 5 & a half Soviets or 9 & a half Europeans. Twice as many people speak Mandarin as English, & as many speak Hindi/Urdu.

This competition won’t be as uneven as many of us expect, & some surprising factors will make the differences. Linux by itself won’t, but the attitude of being prepared to break with the pack to try a serious alternative like it will make a difference.

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