"Open-source software conferences tend to attract a typical
assortment of long-bearded geeks, tech evangelists, and the odd
business suit. But at the Linux Desktop Consortium conference,
which will take place on Nov. 10 at Boston University, one of the
stars will be Dr. Martin Echt, an avuncular cardiologist from
Albany, N.Y. Dr. Echt, chief operating officer of Capital
Cardiology Associates, an eight-office practice, will discuss his
decision to shift his network of PCs to Linux from Microsoft's
Windows, the operating system that controls the basic functions of
computers running on Intel microprocessors.
"While Dr. Echt is an unusual Linux convert, he's hardly alone.
In China, the State Council has mandated that all ministries buy
locally produced software in the next upgrade cycle. In particular,
it's pushing the local flavor of Linux, dubbed Red Flag. In the
impoverished Spanish region of Extremadura, the government has
installed on 200,000 PCs a Linux operating system that incorporates
the regional dialect. And despite a personal visit from Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer, the city of Munich has promised to transfer its
14,000 PCs from Windows to Linux as early as next year..."