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MIS Magazine: The Rise and Rise of Free Software

May 09, 2002, 22:00 (32 Talkback[s])

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"It is with amusement that I read about Bill Gates? shooting in a new movie, Nothing So Strange. The film?s director, Brian Flemming, tells the Seattle Times he has nothing against Gates, but was making a larger point: 'The assassin was trying to start a class war. With Bill Gates, he found his target.

"That war has already begun. ?The rise of [free open-source software] Linux is legendary, a little like the peasant uprising of [Chinese heroes] Chen Sheng and Wu Guang,? exults the China Youth Daily. ?No matter what, for two [original software] CDs to sell for over 10,000 yuan [US$1,200] is not acceptable to ordinary users.? This sum is about half the annual income of the average Chinese worker. In contrast, bootleg software packages sell for about RMB10 (US$1.20) each.

"Web site says China already has two million Linux users. Research firm IDC says about 15 per cent of organisations in China are running applications on Linux platforms. Press reports of China?s open-source take-up link it with patriotism, especially among government ministries..."

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