Russian Gov't To Move To Free Software By 2015

A very interesting post on Mashable yesterday. The Russian Gov't is switching to free software completely by 2015. The order was put out by prime minister Putin. Is this a good call or bad call?

Here's the full article:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a government order that lays out the groundwork for the transition of federal bodies and
agencies to use free software, including Linux, by 2015.

The 25-point document (available here) outlines specific steps the government must take in order to move off
proprietary software and onto free and/or open source alternatives like
Linux (). The government order was approved on December 17 and affects all federal agencies of the federal budget.

Each point of the document names the specific action that must be taken, the
agency responsible for implementing that order, the time frame for
implementation, and the expected result. For example, one point
instructs Russia’s Ministry of Communications to form “the base package
of free software solutions for typical problems of the federal
executive bodies,” with the expected result a free package of software
that includes operating systems, drivers and application software for
servers.

Another order calls for “creating and maintaining a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of
executive power,” while another requires “the development of
departmental plans to move to the use of free software, including plans
for transition of subordinate budget institutions.” The final order, to
be implemented in Q3 2015, calls for “preparation of the draft orders
of the Government of the Russian Federation on the adoption of a phased
introduction of free software for the next planning period.”

Russia has been moving in the direction of free software for the past few years. In 2008, the government ordered schools to implement free software packages in all of its computers. Schools that now want to use proprietary software have to pay for it out of their own pockets.

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