Microsoft Brasil's president, Emilio Umeoka, said that ideology led Brazil's government astray when it decided to adopt Linux's free software in public sector computers. "If the country closes itself off again -- as it did when it protected its information technology, 10 years from now we will wake up and be dominant in something insignificant," Umeoka told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. "My boss once said: 'Irrelevance is the beginning of the end'," the Brazilian executive of Seattle-based Microsoft Corp. said.
In the 1980s, Brazil protected its IT sector with high tariffs meant to curb imports and stimulate national industry. Economists now believe the country lost an opportunity at that time to attract much-needed foreign investment. Although he sees Brazil as one of the software giant's most promising markets -- where revenues reached 925 million reais ($293 million) in the last fiscal year, Umeoka said policies of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government were steering the country in the wrong direction.
News source: Reuters