January 6, 2004

Asia Loves Linux -- And Microsoft Scrambles

Cost, adaptability, and security concerns have more IT managers ditching Windows for open-source software.

Bill Gates has never met Chen Yongguang, but the Microsoft Corp. founder's future may be more dependent on the Chinese information-technology
manager -- and thousands like him -- than he'd like. Chen is in charge of IT for the city of Xiaolan, in China's Guangdong province, and recently has
become a convert to Linux, the free alternative to Microsoft's flagship Windows computer operating system. Chen recently turned to the software to run
the Xiaolan government's 18 servers. It's cheaper than Windows, though saving money "is not a big consideration," he insists. More important, Chen
says, is that Linux is less vulnerable to viruses and other rogue programs. He's also pleased that he can get the source code for the software, which
allows him to adapt it more easily to his needs. "Windows is not open," he says. "You can't change it."

Link: businessweek.com


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