21 February 2007

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Cuba to use open-source software

The government of Cuba decided to change the OS on thousands of its computers. These will run on Linux instead of Windows. This step made by the Cuban government raises tensions between the country and the U.S. - based company Microsoft.

The idea was welcomed by several Cuban ministers. This includes Ramiro Valdez, communication minister, who at a technology conference stated his position towards moving to open source software. Richard Stallman, heading the Free Software Foundation, criticized the proprietary software saying that today it is rather insecure.

Heading one of the largest universities in Cuba, Hector Rodriguez also showed his positive attitude towards the migration of the country to open source software. He outlined that Cuban customs service has already moved to Linux and several ministries are still to migrate. Among them are the ministries of culture, of higher education and of communication.

Although it will take some time for Cuba to move to open source software, Rodriguez, as quoted by the Associated Press, declined to state the time it will take for the government of Cuba to move entirely to Linux. The pace of migrating to open source software is very fast in Cuba.

The idea of using Linux instead of Windows is largely discussed by the governments of other countries, including Venezuela, China, Russia and Brazil.