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IDG.net: Analysis: Microsoft vs. Open Source Gets Political

Jun 12, 2002, 20:30 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Berger)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Microsoft Corp. is facing a growing battle against open-source software that is edging into politics on a global scale.

"Just last week, the German government announced a deal to replace parts of its IT system with open-source programs, and Taiwan officials announced, as part of an effort to curb Microsoft's dominance in software, preliminary plans to promote the development of local Linux software.

"Germany and Taiwan are only the latest countries to take sides in a software battle in which Microsoft and developers of commercial, or proprietary programs, are increasingly facing off with proponents of open-source software..."

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[A related sidebar to this story provides an excellent synopsis of open source progress in various national national governments. -ed]

Snapshots From The OS Front

"Nations wading in the Linux waters:


"Homeland of Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Finland has embarked on a government test of open source software. Twenty-eight employees from 13 government agencies (out of 100 total) completed a project in April to test the free Open Office open-source desktop productivity suite and its commercially available version, called Star Office, from Sun Microsystems Inc. The project coordinators determined that it would recommend use of the suite, mainly for users who do not exchange documents on a regular basis with users of competing software. It cited compatibility problems, namely among users trying to receive Microsoft World documents. The government has also begun hosting seminars for employees to introduce them to Linux and other open source software. About 13 percent of government servers are running Linux, but the country has no policies that mandate what software government agencies use, according to Arja Terho, a counsellor in Finland's Ministry of Finance..."

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