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CNET News: South Africa Embraces Open Source

Feb 05, 2003, 14:30 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Festa)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Joining a lengthening list of governments, South Africa adopted an official policy promoting the use of open-source software--but stopped short of jettisoning proprietary applications.

"The new policy by Africa's wealthiest nation expresses a preference for open-source applications when proprietary alternatives don't offer a compelling advantage. Other nations have taken more extreme positions, mandating the use of open-source software unless no other practical alternatives exist.

"'The primary criteria for selecting software solutions will remain the improvement of efficiency, effectiveness and economy of service delivery by (the) government to its citizens,' reads the policy, which was drafted last month and published Monday in a final version. 'OSS (open-source software) offers significant indirect advantages. Where the direct advantages and disadvantages of OSS and PS (proprietary software) are equally strong, and where circumstances in the specific situation do not render it inappropriate, opting for OSS will be preferable...'"

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