[svlug] Who uses open source? -- Malaysia, Australia

Mark S Bilk mark at cosmicpenguin.com
Mon Jul 26 13:49:41 PDT 2004


Thursday, 22 July, 2004
Malaysia mandates open source use

Julian Bajkowski, SYDNEY

If Microsoft chairman Bill Gates thought he had worries about
open source stealing market share from Microsoft in the
Australian public sector, Malaysia has just proved to be a much
bigger problem.

Less than a month after Gates' high-profile roadshow through
Asia, the Malaysian government has mandated the in-house
deployment of open source software (OSS) in what may well be the
biggest national backlash against proprietary software in the
world, according to a report in Malaysia's national daily

The technology section of The Star Online reports all Malaysian
government technology procurement will be required to give
preference to open source software under a new Malaysian Public
Sector Open Source Software Masterplan.

The report quotes the Masterplan as saying, "Where advantages and
disadvantages of OSS and proprietary software are equal,
preference shall be given to OSS."

Chief secretary to the Malaysian government, Tan Sri Samsudin
Osman is also quoted as saying that ICT suppliers will have to
follow the government's lead in light of the new government
commitment to the plan.

Osman was speaking at a government-sponsored Open Source
Competency Centre, which is aimed at getting Malaysian OSS skill
sets up and running.

Outwardly, the plan appears nothing short of bold with targets
set for public sector suppliers as early as next year.

The Star quotes government sources as saying 60 % of all new
servers must "be able to run OSS operating systems" along with
"30 % of office infrastructure" such as email, DNS and proxy
servers .

In schools, 20 % of computer labs will be required to run OSS

In Australia, the Australian Government Information Management
Office has also revealed it is preparing an open source
procurement guide to assist its internal IT buyers to evaluate
needs and systems before making purchasing decisions.

However, the Australian document will not be binding government
policy and will allow users to make their own decisions in line
with value for money and best practice.

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