WSJ writes that “President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is finalizing a policy recommending that federal ministries, agencies and state enterprises install open-source software, such as Linux, instead of proprietary software, such as Microsoft's Windows, in new computer equipment. Sergio Amadeu, Mr. da Silva's information-technology adviser, says the goal is for at least 80% of government computers bought next year to feature open-source software, though the guidelines aren't binding.” This could tilt the scales against Microsoft.
Ninad Mehta summarises the challenges Microsoft faces in the emerging markets nicely: “(1) Protecting against software piracy and (2) Preserving Microsoft's market share against Linux.”
is there a new first/second/third world in computing like there was in socioeconomic systems? I think so. your first world is the multinational corporations paying huge money for proprietary software, your second world is your growing install base of open source/free software, and your third world is the have nots.