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FOSS in Egypt Now

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FOSS in Egypt Now

There is no clear picture of the state of FOSS in Egypt at the moment. This lack of information is expended upon in section sub:Information. There are, however, subjective and highly unscientific yet nevertheless indicative observations upon which conclusions can be made.


Government

There is no visible government policy either regarding or involving open source software. Not even a negative one; FOSS is simply not on the map. Contrast with emerging South American government policies stipulating open source software in government contracts.

There is no visible government sponsorship of FOSS development.

There is FOSS being employed in government, but it is spare and very invisible. An example is the meteorological service's work developing weather system models on Linux clusters.


Business

It is probably more difficult to gauge FOSS status within the local enterprise and the business environment than in government. Let us try all the same.

It is a rarity to see job adverts in the Friday edition of Al Ahram1 requiring Linux experience.


The End User

The LUG, the most prominent forum for Linux end users, claims under 1,500 members.Let us say that only 25% of the people who would register with this community are aware of its existence and did so. This makes for 6,000. It is unlikely that all 6,000 are even know what Linux is2. If 80% of people who registered knew what FOSS and Linux is, then this leaves 4,800 persons. Of these 4,800 persons, if 75% (a terribly optimistic figure) have actually tried Linux, this gives us 3,600 persons who know what FOSS is and have tried Linux. If 50% of people who try Linux stick with it, then we have gone down to 1,800 aware Linux users in Egypt. It makes no sense to assume this figure down any further; it is already low enough to reflect the state of adoption of Linux in Egypt.

In any case, it is indicative that the most visible Linux Users' Group in the country can only claim 20 to 40 active members at best.



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