“FOSS-ed for Windows� Conference to Help End Software Piracy

Apache co-founder to speak at event held next week.

Colombo, 20 June 2007 - The local Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) advocacy community is organizing a two day conference and tutorial session on using free and open source software applications on the Microsoft Windows Platform. Brian Behlendorf, a long standing and important figure in the open source software movement, will be delivering the key note address at the event which will be held from the 26 – 28 June 2007. Brian was a primary developer of the Apache Web server, the most popular web server software on the Internet, and a founding member of the Apache Group, which later became the Apache Software Foundation. He also served as President of the Foundation for three years.

While there is a trend in the industry moving towards GNU/Linux and Free and Open Source Software Microsoft Windows is still a dominating force. Many applications have been developed around it and many continue to do so. Most of this software is also proprietary and includes heavy license fees. Proprietary software may cost anything from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars for licensing fees alone. As a developing country, most individuals and even companies cannot afford such prices and resort to using illegal copies of software. Pirated software may cost only a fraction of the actual price but the implications can be far greater.

“FOSS-ed is a popular conference program organized by the foss.lk community. This being the fourth such conference, we wanted to create awareness among the general public about FOSS applications that you can easily download and use while continuing to be on the Microsoft Windows Platform.� Said Karthiga Ratnam, Chairperson of FOSS-ed for Windows. “There are so many good pieces of software which you don't have to pay any money for licensing fees. We hope that by learning about freely available alternatives out there we can help to stop software piracy in the country.� added Ms. Ratnam about the event which is also supported by the American Chamber of Commerce as part of their “Get Real on IPR� campaign.

FOSS-ed for Windows will cover various topics focusing on FOSS applications and solutions ranging from Web browsers and mail clients to graphics software and content management systems. The event is sponsored by Google, Intel, Microsoft, Ceylon Linux, eBuilder, ThinkCube, Virtusa and WSO2. It is supported by American Chamber of Commerce, The ICT Agency, The National Intellectual Property Office and University of Colombo School of Computing. For registrations see http://www.foss.lk/

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