I've spent the last few days in a series of meetings as part of the MySQL Management Team (MT) and also with our Board of Directors. One of the topics we've talked about extensively is how we can continue to expand our community worldwide. Many people know that MySQL gets over 40,000 downloads per day. (No, not per month, per day!) And with MySQL 5.0 release candidate expected shortly, that number will likely increase over the coming months as many people check out the latest features including stored procedures, triggers, views, etc.
The interesting thing is that while two thirds of MySQL revenue is generated in North America, we have huge download volumes in countries where we have no business efforts. For example, Brazil is our number one download country after the US, generating more downloads than the UK, Germany, France, Japan or Australia. India and China are not far behind. I don't expect that we'll be generating revenue any time soon in these countries, but it is still great to be expanding the number of users world wide. Perhaps some folks will help us by translating our documentation or web pages. And certainly there's more we can do to support our users around the world.
Not surprisingly, Brazil, India, China and other countries that are encouraging the adoption of Open Source software as part of their overall national IT initiatives. Instead of spending money on proprietary closed source software, these countries are investing in themselves, encouraging the development of open source businesses and projects. In fact, there are a lot of government initiatives worldwide that encourage use of open source software. I uncovered a few of these while researching a white paper on the subject. (See the links below for some more information on this subject.)
For example, the Brazilian government announced it could save around $120 million a year by migrating to open source software. According to Sergio Amadeu da Silveira, head of the ITI (National Information Technology Institute), the government is currently paying around $500 for every workstation to Microsoft regarding license fees. Through numerous open source projects, the government tries to bridge the technology divide among the Brazilian population. One successful initiative entitled Recycling Goal aims to provide computer technologies to people living in the underdeveloped outskirts of Sao Paulo.