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NewsForge: Open Asia: Under the Radar, FLOSS Thrives

Jul 29, 2003, 03:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frederick Noronha)

"As we discussed last week, Free Software is flourishing in Korea and Japan, but the movement is strong elsewhere as well. Contrary to the presumption that GNU/Linux is almost unknown in Asia, FLOSS takes on the shape of a 'silent revolution'--spreading across modems linking small brotherhoods (the lack of women's participation in computing in Asia is an issue yet to be seriously addressed).

"GNU/Linux is already reporting some interesting deployments in the populous cash-strapped countries of the region. In India, it is no coincidence that a number of low-cost PCs hitting the market are now opting for Free Software-based solutions. China has already worked out national distros of GNU/Linux that are in the local language and also meet national concerns in terms of security. Pakistan has seen government initiatives to boost the role of FLOSS, so as to become less dependent on proprietary software, with it accompanying allegations of piracy against countries with low incomes and poor conversion rates against the dollar. Thailand is finding GNU/Linux a useful solution in its Schoolnet program..."

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