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NY Times: Fearing Control by Microsoft, China Backs the Linux System

Jul 08, 2000, 13:48 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Craig S. Smith)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell and Karsten M. Self for this link. ]

"Janet Reno is not the only one worried about Bill Gates' software monopoly: China's leaders are, too. They are concerned that the country is growing overly dependent on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, which controls microcomputers running everything from banks to President Jiang Zemin's e-mail box."

"But the Chinese government, itself a master at monopoly, is taking its case against Microsoft not to the courtroom, but to the marketplace, albeit with a bit of administrative fiat. It is backing the Linux operating system... "We don't want one company to monopolize the software market," said Chen Chong, a deputy minister of information industries who oversees the computer industry in China. With Linux, "we can control the security," he added, so "we can control our own destiny."

"A growing number of Chinese have likened dependence on Microsoft to leaving the keys to the country's increasingly computerized economy in the hands of a potential enemy. Some warn that secret holes in Microsoft's computer code might allow the United States access to Chinese networks or even enable it, in time of war, to shut those networks down."

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