The Tamil Nadu (a state in India) Government is almost ready to lock Microsoft out in favor of open source software. Earlier Microsoft had been ousted from the academias of Kerala state. Though it is only two states currently, this can build into a momentum in favor of open source. I always maintained that open source made sense to the developing countries.
Open source has a hidden advantage for a country like India. Open source tools are more likely to be localized and internationalized. Since the source is available for volunteers, they are ready for more languages to be incorporated. In a multi-lingual country like India this benefit can amplify.
Though this cannot be said generically, the cost of open source software turns out be less. This is mainly for two reasons, one is that having the source with you lets you do full customization, and secondly open source tools tend to have more community support. Of course, a lot of people argue against this, but I believe the reason is usually lack of skills in the team. Some research and informed choice of software out of the open source basket can provide a better solution. One of the best examples is the field of CMS, where the open source counterparts lead the way. The formula mentioned by Mark Taylor can help.
I think that in developing countries open source software should be preferred, especially in the academics. And once it becomes mainstream in academics it will carry forward through personal choice and experience into the industry.