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Taiwan government gives Linux big boost

Microsoft software too expensive shock
Fri Jul 26 2002, 10:51
WE'VE COVERED A CONTINUOUS battle on the island of Taiwan between Microsoft software and Linux during this year, but now it seems the Taiwanese government will step in.

And on the side of Linux, rather than Microsoft.

Today's Economic News claims that the Ministry of Economic Affairs will put money into 100 companies in a bid to produce a raft of Linux software over the next five years.

It's the price of Microsoft software that's causing such shenanigans on the island. Earlier in the year, Microsoft agreed to give away some of its software to educational establishments for a purely nominal price.

The newspaper claims the Ministry wants over half of government agencies to move to Linux within the next five years which is why it's pushing the OS.

But government agencies and large conglomerates - a fact which the piece doesn't mention - have also been accused of using pirated Microsoft software in the past, even attracting the attention of US bodies in the process.

The move is significant because the island is still the powerhouse of the IT industry.

While totally unrelated, many system integrators are also very unhappy with the price of Microsoft OS and Office software.

While components such as hard drives, CD-ROMs, CPUs and monitors have all plunged in price over the last two to three years, the only element in the makeup of a PC which has retained its cost is the Microsoft OS and Office software.

For some peculiar reason, Microsoft rejects the argument that its software costs too much, and points out there are alternatives.

While this is true, it's fair to say that only a minority of users are so far using these products. Monopoly? Microsoft? Nah... µ


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