Going For FOSS In I-Cafés
I had an article before about GNU/Linux Operating Systems for Cafés where I discussed the merits of using a free and open source software (FOSS) in a computer rental business environment. Today the basic issue is still the same, i-cafés catering mainly to gamers cannot go for FOSS operating systems (mainly GNU/Linux) because the popular network and online games run only on Windows. Yes, there are many FOSS games that run natively on GNU/Linux operating systems but i-café customers who are used to Windows-based games won’t just bite them. Simply said, the issue of going for FOSS in i-cafés depends on having the popular games ported to it because gaming is still the main source of revenues for the majority of computer shops in the country.
If it is any consolation to i-café owners who are already running their computers on FOSS, some online press releases show positive developments on having some popular games coming to Linux. One is that some Valve Games will soon be powered by Steam For Linux and some formerly Windows-only games will soon be running natively on FOSS; namely, World of Goo, Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 2004, Doom 3, Counter-Strike, Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2. Syntensity, a relatively new platform for 3D games with amazing graphics has four (4) FOSS games on open beta.
Going for FOSS in i-cafés is a challenge posed on the industry especially now that the government, with its austerity measures, may seriously considered migrating its proprietary systems to the less expensive, free to use and modify open source software. We all know that the shift to FOSS will be good for all but the question is who will take up to the challenge first. Should i-cafés go ahead with FOSS and throw away the software piracy problem nagging the industry for long while now?