October 30, 2003

Vietnam embracing open-source products

Carefully, quietly, Vietnam is plotting another revolution.

This time its foe is not a foreign army with a global reach, but a foreign corporation whose reach extends worldwide.

``We are trying step by step to eliminate Microsoft,'' said Nguyen Trung Quynh of Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology. Quynh and other
government tech officials want Vietnam to be on the cutting edge of an international movement to embrace open-source software -- products that can be
downloaded from the Internet for free and perform the same tasks as Microsoft Windows or Office.

The initiative is Vietnam's solution to software piracy, a rampant problem that threatens to derail the country's economic aspirations.

Vietnam implemented a trade agreement with the United States in 2001 that requires the government to bring down the piracy rate. And the government
also needs to do that to meet its goal of joining the World Trade Organization by 2005.

Link: siliconvalley.com


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