Why is the Third World Running Windows?



  • From another thread, but a great discussion to have. Why is the third world often running outdated, insecure, and often unstable Windows on outdated hardware instead of hardware better suited to them, and operating systems that they can keep up to date and secure? What's driving the "trickle down" adoption, rather than local decision making?



  • Having actually looked into this a small amount, one key reason is that equipment in the third world often sources from places like the US. Hand me down computers coming from the US are often pre-configured with Windows already on the hardware. So there is no choice being made outside of the primary market. The decision to ship with Windows is made in the US. Microsoft encourages this heavily with their OEM system. It's in Microsoft's favour to have old, nearly useless hardware make its way down market loaded with Windows to encourage adoption (and addiction) there.



  • A key factor is that in a lot of the world, availability of, knowledge of, and even the skills to install another operating system may not exist. It's not that getting Linux is hard, but even reinstalling Windows or updating Windows is hard (far harder, in fact.) They often use what arrived on the hardware, as it arrives, and that is all that there is to it.

    In reality, it is not just that Windows is often a poor choice in third world markets, but also that common architectures like AMD64, used by Intel and Windows, are not a good choice. US choices are often dictated by abundant, reliable, cheap power. But in most of the third world power is expensive and unreliable. So architectures that reflect that need would make more sense, like ARM.



  • Personally I feel that Linux on ARM, which can easily include Chromebook devices, is the ideal for most of the third world. Low cost to acquire, low cost to maintain, free to keep updated forever, high longevity of devices, low cost to operate, low impact on the environment and the power infrastructure.



  • The biggest issue is the trickle down decision. People in the US shipping with Windows, rather than centos fedora or Linux/bsd.

    I get it, but also don't understand why anyone who donated hardware, would leave a bad decision like that for the final user to deal with as they very likely don't have the knowledge or capability to change what is installed easily.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    From another thread, but a great discussion to have. Why is the third world often running outdated, insecure, and often unstable Windows on outdated hardware instead of hardware better suited to them, and operating systems that they can keep up to date and secure? What's driving the "trickle down" adoption, rather than local decision making?

    The mentality here does not change rapidly when it comes to IT, once you have costumed to something you want it for life even if Chrome and Firefox works better and similar in Linux and thats what they use 99% of the time.

    Also the cost of Windows is free, there are no tight regulations.

    When it comes to enterprises this is gradually starting to change, however people are not custom to pay for software here, they expect it to be free, and I think MS knows that and does not want it to change, cause if they changed and became stricter people will be forced to use FOSS OS and they will learn and be more like India when it comes to IT, more smarter and developers.



  • Also consider the second hand market. A lot of old stuff is resold (with relavant markups) to third world countries. Old stuff comes preconfigured with dismissed versions of win.





  • Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that. If they had more access to either up to date software or more innovation through cloud resources, that would be key for me.

    By access to more innovation, allowing third world country researchers to more easily (and cheaply) access cloud computing for machine learning/AI/etc... in my opinion access at an affordable level is important.



  • @matteo-nunziati said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Also consider the second hand market. A lot of old stuff is resold (with relavant markups) to third world countries. Old stuff comes preconfigured with dismissed versions of win.

    Yes, exactly. Often used computers are the solely available resource. So what the first world or second world resells, is what the options are.



  • @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that.

    Well, if you have a market where essentially no one knows what an OS is, or how to install one.... it's rather a leap to think that they could reasonably update. In the US everyone knows how to install an OS or their nephew does. But in much of the world, that would be an expensive, rare resource that you have no idea needs to be sought out.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    The biggest issue is the trickle down decision. People in the US shipping with Windows, rather than centos fedora or Linux/bsd.

    It's the technical expression of "piss on me" economics.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    I get it, but also don't understand why anyone who donated hardware, would leave a bad decision like that for the final user to deal with as they very likely don't have the knowledge or capability to change what is installed easily.

    Often it's people donating that aren't thinking at all about the end users, or just expect them to install what makes sense for them. People rarely know to where a computer is headed.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @matteo-nunziati said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Also consider the second hand market. A lot of old stuff is resold (with relavant markups) to third world countries. Old stuff comes preconfigured with dismissed versions of win.

    Yes, exactly. Often used computers are the solely available resource. So what the first world or second world resells, is what the options are.

    I don't see this as an excuse for not putting linux or whatever on these machines instead though. Rather, the lack of good internet seems to be the main reason - or the cost involved by the reseller to put a different OS on it. Tossed in with the fact that it's likely those using it are already accustomed to Windows and won't know what to do with a linux OS or how to get apps, etc.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that.

    Well, if you have a market where essentially no one knows what an OS is, or how to install one.... it's rather a leap to think that they could reasonably update. In the US everyone knows how to install an OS or their nephew does. But in much of the world, that would be an expensive, rare resource that you have no idea needs to be sought out.

    Why is that? Why does the US know this (frankly - I completely disagree with you on this - sure, almost everyone knows a nephew who can do it - but that doesn't mean the people know they can or should do it - back to the other day - people are herd animals, and frankly they don't care).

    Heck, just the other day I heard people whining about how many updates their Android phone has, and those updates barely impact their lives compared to Windows updates.



  • @dustinb3403 I guess they do not think about it at all



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that.

    Well, if you have a market where essentially no one knows what an OS is, or how to install one.... it's rather a leap to think that they could reasonably update. In the US everyone knows how to install an OS or their nephew does. But in much of the world, that would be an expensive, rare resource that you have no idea needs to be sought out.

    Sorry, I meant to add I get that Windows carries an expense and not everyone can honestly afford to run it up to date. What I meant is if they need a platform and the end user computing device is irrelevant for that access, they could run their favorite distro of Linux and have it both fully up to date and carry no cost.



  • @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that.

    Well, if you have a market where essentially no one knows what an OS is, or how to install one.... it's rather a leap to think that they could reasonably update. In the US everyone knows how to install an OS or their nephew does. But in much of the world, that would be an expensive, rare resource that you have no idea needs to be sought out.

    Sorry, I meant to add I get that Windows carries an expense and not everyone can honestly afford to run it up to date. What I meant is if they need a platform and then end user computing device is irrelevant for that access, they could run their favorite distro of Linux and have it both fully up to date and carry no cost.

    Gotcha, makes sense.



  • @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @matteo-nunziati said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Also consider the second hand market. A lot of old stuff is resold (with relavant markups) to third world countries. Old stuff comes preconfigured with dismissed versions of win.

    Yes, exactly. Often used computers are the solely available resource. So what the first world or second world resells, is what the options are.

    I don't see this as an excuse for not putting linux or whatever on these machines instead though. Rather, the lack of good internet seems to be the main reason - or the cost involved by the reseller to put a different OS on it. Tossed in with the fact that it's likely those using it are already accustomed to Windows and won't know what to do with a linux OS or how to get apps, etc.

    But they are only accustomed to it BECAUSE it's what is on there. It's a Catch-22.

    But Fedora or Ubuntu would make far more sense because the apps are easier to get and generally free. That very reason should be driving adoption.



  • @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @bbigford said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    Why are they running outdated versions of Windows rather than something free... I have no idea on that.

    Well, if you have a market where essentially no one knows what an OS is, or how to install one.... it's rather a leap to think that they could reasonably update. In the US everyone knows how to install an OS or their nephew does. But in much of the world, that would be an expensive, rare resource that you have no idea needs to be sought out.

    Why is that? Why does the US know this.

    Education and exposure. We are taught this stuff in the US, info is everywhere.



  • @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.



  • @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.



  • @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.

    It's not so thoughtful, it's a series of decisions made in isolation. Companies retire equipment because it is too expensive to keep running. Then it goes to recyclers. They then can't resell in the US because it's too expensive to maintain. So then it goes to the third world.

    No one says "ha, we'll dump this on poor, unsuspecting countries", it's just each step in the process evaluates the gear, decides it is too expensive to operate (mostly due to efficiency) and eventually it naturally flows to the third world where they aren't in a position to turn it down.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.

    It's not so thoughtful, it's a series of decisions made in isolation. Companies retire equipment because it is too expensive to keep running. Then it goes to recyclers. They then can't resell in the US because it's too expensive to maintain. So then it goes to the third world.

    No one says "ha, we'll dump this on poor, unsuspecting countries", it's just each step in the process evaluates the gear, decides it is too expensive to operate (mostly due to efficiency) and eventually it naturally flows to the third world where they aren't in a position to turn it down.

    Wouldn't the price still have to be so reduced that those other places would even buy them, that the price would also be low enough that it could stay in lower power costs places like the US?



  • @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.

    It's not so thoughtful, it's a series of decisions made in isolation. Companies retire equipment because it is too expensive to keep running. Then it goes to recyclers. They then can't resell in the US because it's too expensive to maintain. So then it goes to the third world.

    No one says "ha, we'll dump this on poor, unsuspecting countries", it's just each step in the process evaluates the gear, decides it is too expensive to operate (mostly due to efficiency) and eventually it naturally flows to the third world where they aren't in a position to turn it down.

    Wouldn't the price still have to be so reduced that those other places would even buy them, that the price would also be low enough that it could stay in lower power costs places like the US?

    Often they are shipped out for free. And at free, it's not worth running in the US.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.

    It's not so thoughtful, it's a series of decisions made in isolation. Companies retire equipment because it is too expensive to keep running. Then it goes to recyclers. They then can't resell in the US because it's too expensive to maintain. So then it goes to the third world.

    No one says "ha, we'll dump this on poor, unsuspecting countries", it's just each step in the process evaluates the gear, decides it is too expensive to operate (mostly due to efficiency) and eventually it naturally flows to the third world where they aren't in a position to turn it down.

    Wouldn't the price still have to be so reduced that those other places would even buy them, that the price would also be low enough that it could stay in lower power costs places like the US?

    Often they are shipped out for free. And at free, it's not worth running in the US.

    really? to whom? My dad was acquiring old computers and giving them away to seniors in upstate NY for a while.

    I can't believe they couldn't find takers for the old stuff here in the US.



  • This is interesting but not something I have had to deal with yet in any capacity. If I ever do, what devices are better and more environmental friendly for users who need such things?



  • @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @dashrender said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @karlita said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    @scottalanmiller
    Nicaragua does not use part of the technology that exists to protect the environment,"supposedly" since our country is lagging behind in technological matters, however, studies are being carried out on climate change in the country.

    That's something I'd love to help address. Using old technology, and Windows based AMD/Intel machines means that Nicaragua uses way more power than it should and has to have more tech waste flowing through the country. Newer, more power efficient, and smaller systems would do wonders for increasing technological capabilities while reducing the ecological impact.

    One of the key reasons that the US and other countries dump old systems onto the Nicaragua market is because they are too environmentally impactful to run in the US, so we replace them and send the ones bad for the environment outside of the country.

    While I don't disagree with that reasoning - it's literally the first time I've actually heard someone say it.

    It's not so thoughtful, it's a series of decisions made in isolation. Companies retire equipment because it is too expensive to keep running. Then it goes to recyclers. They then can't resell in the US because it's too expensive to maintain. So then it goes to the third world.

    No one says "ha, we'll dump this on poor, unsuspecting countries", it's just each step in the process evaluates the gear, decides it is too expensive to operate (mostly due to efficiency) and eventually it naturally flows to the third world where they aren't in a position to turn it down.

    Wouldn't the price still have to be so reduced that those other places would even buy them, that the price would also be low enough that it could stay in lower power costs places like the US?

    Often they are shipped out for free. And at free, it's not worth running in the US.

    really? to whom? My dad was acquiring old computers and giving them away to seniors in upstate NY for a while.

    I can't believe they couldn't find takers for the old stuff here in the US.

    Often cheaper to buy something practical than to use impractical free stuff. Even if they find takers, it screws them in most cases.



  • @jmoore said in Why is the Third World Running Windows?:

    This is interesting but not something I have had to deal with yet in any capacity. If I ever do, what devices are better and more environmental friendly for users who need such things?

    I've been looking into an ARM based Linux desktop design for there. Low power like a phone or tablet. With Linux and non-GPU use desktops, you can get super efficient.


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