Windows and Mac are US manufacturers. Their codes are secret. So little chances of Operating System development in your country. Which means you are seriously dependent on them for giving you the program and every security patch. Linux is open source. You can adopt it to your needs. Local s/w knowledge flourish because local programmers can see the codes and change them. Your foreign currency reserve does not deplete. In fact you need less foreign currency (read USD) reserve.
Because they are closed sources, you don’t know what they are doing behind your back. For example if they may be putting in a little bit of software to send every keystroke and every screenshot back to the US, in every piece of software sold in Iran. That’s a serious issue. On Linux you can find that out.
The prices are funny. Inside the US Windows is sold at lower prices ($10-$40) in one thousand and one pretext (educational discount blah blah blah) whereas it is sold at higher prices ($100 minimum) in our countries. Add to that the fact that the dollar value is inflated (i.e. the purchase power of $1 is less than it’s equivalent in, say, Indian or Pakistani rupees) then you realize that MS is actually ripping us off with a price tag of at least 20 times higher than inside the US.
Linux is free, and is good enough for most purposes- especially for home use and for server use. The office sofware packages are not as powerful as MS yet (as Faraz pointed out sometime ago) but for the average user like me it’s enough.
What you can do:
– Try Linux. Try Ubuntu/Kubuntu/SuSE
– If you own a company/lead an office. Introduce Linux. Trying to change an OS overnight gives people familiarity shocks. It most of the time does not work.
– If you are an educator, yay! Introduce Linux to your students. Encourage them to fiddle around with it. For those who are so inclined, to even write their own extensions to the existing programs.