In the Loop

In the Loop: February 18, 2009 Archive

Cuba frees itself from the tyranny of Windows OS!

Posted at 2:45 PM on February 18, 2009 by Sanden Totten (3 Comments)

Finally dipping it's toes into the pool of modern technology, Cuba allowed computers to hit the open market last year. But they quickly ran into a problem we've all faced at various points in our lives: Microsoft Windows.

"Windows, go home!" OMARA GARCIA MEDEROS AFP/Getty Images
Castro.jpg
The ubiquitous operating system is everywhere. But it's hard for Cubans to get legally thanks to the trade embargo. It's full of holes and bugs. The code behind the program is kept secret so tech geeks can't customize it, fix it or improve it without a Microsoft approved update. Basically, as Cuba University's Information Sciences Director, Hector Rodriguez puts it, Window's modus operandi is out of step with Cuba's values:

"The free software movement is closer to the ideology of the Cuban people, above all for the independence and sovereignty."

So the solution? Go with Linux. Linux, for those not hip to the freeware scene...or those with lives that don't require WiFi access...is an operating system like Windows, but all of the code for it is publicly shared. This allows people to fix it, change it and adapt it as they see fit. And it gives places like Cuba the ability to make their own country specific version . . .sticking it to the "U.S. hegemony" one desktop at a time.

Similar strikes have been previously announced by U.S. frenemies such as Russia and China.

Personally, I have qualms with Windows, but I also love a lot about it. I have to admit though, there is something Big Brother-ish about a program that runs on roughly a billion computers worldwide. But let's face it, Windows is not as far-reaching and world dominating as say The Matrix...The Matrix never crashes, for starters. And as Cuba will likely learn on its own, creating an operating system and getting countless other programs and computers to work seamlessly with it is no easy task.

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