The Russian government has indicated that it plans to dump Windows and switch to a custom Linux OS in near future. Sound like a good news to you as a Linux over, isn’t it? But wait till you hear it all.
This move is inspired more from political motives than for the love of Linux and Open Source. The real reason is that Russia wants to have its control over the Russian network. It is unhappy that while Google can track everything and answers to over 32,000 requests a year from U.S. law-enforcement agencies, it doesn’t do the same with Russia.
This switch to Linux is part of the bigger plan to punish big tech giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft by forcing them to pay more taxes and by removing Windows from government computers.
The new Internet advisor to President Putin, Klimenko revealed these plans in an interview published at Bloomberg. He lamented at the US companies: “We are breeding the cow and they are milking it,”.
Microsoft, Google and other U.S. companies “reached the point of no return” when they complied with sanctions over Putin’s annexation of Crimea by halting all business with the peninsula, according to Klimenko. As a result, it’s “inevitable” Russia will switch state networks from Windows to an open-source system based on Linux, a move 22,000 municipal governments are prepared to make immediately, he said.
Kilimenko, who sees Google as a potential threat to national security for its non-cooperation with the government, is not afraid if Google decides to leave Russia. He added, “It won’t be fatal if Google leaves Russia — Yandex and Mail.ru have similar technologies.”.
The silver lining amongst all this is that over 22,000 government offices will be using Linux and that’s what I prefer to see in this political mess. I hope Russia won’t go the North Korea way (North Korea’s Linux spies on its users).
Russia is not the first country to have booted out Microsoft for a Linux system. There are several countries with Linux as the national OS. Many European cities have also switch the government offices on Linux and Open Source office products, a move mainly intended to cut cost on software licenses.
But there are still some countries like the USA and UK who are paying to Microsoft to extend the support for Windows XP.
President Obama, ‘Yes, you can’. You can switch to Linux too. This is what we ‘hope’ for.