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Salon: Linux in China: Not ready for prime time

Aug 09, 2000, 06:02 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonah Greenberg)

"Why should the masses bother with free software when stealing from Microsoft is practically patriotic?..."

"Today, like almost everywhere else, more and more Chinese people are buying PCs at continually dropping prices. But in China, all too often they can't afford the extra $200 for the Windows software necessary to make that computer work. The result: rampant piracy of foreign software in China. Buying pirated versions of Windows 98 and Windows 2000 is not only common among young computer users in China, but it is socially acceptable."

"A more legally defensible solution to the country's economic handicap would be the widespread adoption of free or open-source software, such as Linux-based operating systems. Linux-based systems, which are essentially free, have been brought to China via Internet and through the marketing efforts of a handful of Linux vendors, such as Red Hat and TurboLinux. Many Linux advocates in the West see Linux-based operating systems as the most economical way to introduce advanced, Internet-capable computer systems to Third World countries that cannot afford proprietary software."

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