Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Russia's move to Linux

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently signed an executive order that requires Russian federal agencies and any organizations funded by the federal budget to switch from proprietary operating systems to Linux. Reports are that the move to Linux must be completed by 2014.

Russia has become one of the fastest-growing software markets in the world. In recent years, the software industry has had an average growth of more than 18 percent per year. It is widely believed that Linux has less than 5 percent of the global operating system market. Although Linux is only a niche player in the desktop domain, it continues to do well in the server market and is doing even better in the cloud environment.

Russia is well known to have a large installed base of Microsoft Window. Most are thought to be rogue, pirated copies, so the economic driver is highly questionable. Nevertheless, the global economic environment has increased the emphasis on using Linux in emerging economies due to the savings for those that are all but starting from scratch when it comes to their information infrastructure.

Was Putin’s decision motivated by the risk of cyber espionage and concerns about the overall security of Russia’s critical systems and infrastructure?

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jan 06, 2011 at 12:12 PM


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