• United States

Governments lead worldwide shift to Linux

May 21, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxMicrosoft

* Foreign governments look to embrace Linux as Microsoft alternative

The race from Microsoft to Linux is becoming a worldwide event, one research firm says.

Many foreign governments and businesses are starting to give Linux a closer look as an alternative to Microsoft for powering their servers, according to a recent report from Gartner. The impetus, the research firm says, is for foreign governments to rely less on Microsoft and more on open source software. The idea is also to favor local vendors, thus giving those foreign economies a boost.

Gartner says that resistance to a Microsoft monopoly is less prevalent in the U.S. than abroad.

Strong interest in Linux has come lately from governments in China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as a few governments in Europe and South America, Gartner says. Many flavors of Linux have their origins in some of these regions, such as SuSE out of Germany, Red Flag Linux out of China, Connectiva out of Brazil, and TurboLinux, which is developed primarily in Japan. And the Linux kernel itself, of course, was invented by Finland’s Linus Torvalds.

Licensing issues are another concern of foreign governments. Gartner says that overseas governments are becoming uncomfortable with relying upon one a foreign company  – Microsoft – to run the software, which runs their public infrastructures. These organizations want more autonomy over how their software is priced, developed and delivered, Garner says.