THE VIETNAM Ministry of Information and Communications has ordered all governmental bodies to migrate to using 100 per cent Open Source software products.
Vietnamese organisations subject to the ministry's directive include the IT departments of all ministries and government agencies as well as the provincial and municipal organisations.
All central government agencies must complete their migrations by June 30th, 2009, while ministries and local governments must be 70 per cent converted by December 31st, 2009.
The ministry directed all government bodies to complete their migrations to using 100 per cent Open Source software by December 31st, 2010.
This decision means that the entire country will move to installing Linux operating systems instead of the Vole's OS and server products. The open sauce applications that the ministry has named include the Open Office suite, the Mozilla Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, plus the Vietnamese language keyboarding software Unikey.
The directive also sets interim benchmarks for staff training and proficiency in using Open Source applications.
This marks about the 17th country worldwide to formally adopt the Open Document Format standard in rejection of Microsoft's opaque and self-serving OOXML scheme. It also can't have escaped the Vietnamese government ministry's notice that the vast majority of security vulnerabilities and malware attacks afflict Microsoft software rather than Linux and Open Source applications.
As Slashdot has noted, "Vietnam has a population of 86 million, four million larger than that of Germany, and is one of the world's fastest-growing economies."
The decision was evidently driven by pragmatism rather than ideology, as the ministry also urged the country's governmental bodies to cease and desist from using "cracked" copies of proprietary software products. µ
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