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Hungary, Tatarstan Latest To Go FOSS 129

Posted by kdawson
from the on-the-bandwagon dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "It seems as if almost every other week there is news of another government migration toward Free Open Source Software. Two of the most recent such moves come from Hungary and the tiny independent former Russian republic of Tatarstan. On April 2, the Hungarian government announced that it will be modifying its procurement rules to mandate that open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology. In Tatarstan, a Republic of 3.8 million inhabitants, the Deputy Minister of Education announced that by the end of this school year, all 2,400 educational institutions in Tatarstan will have completed a transition to GNU/Linux, following a successful pilot program it rolled out in 2008."
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Hungary, Tatarstan Latest To Go FOSS

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  • MMM FOSS (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I guess they were hungry for FOSS.

  • Doing the math... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Argumentator (1524195) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:18PM (#27545521)

    "Mandate that open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software"

    In other words, their expenditures for proprietary software must equal to $0.00?

    • Re:Doing the math... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by icebike (68054) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:37PM (#27545601)

      Don't confuse open source with free.

      OSS could be free, but it could also cost money. Money for training, installation and updates.

      Red Hat, Novell/Suse Ubuntu, etc all have support packages programs available which government and education departments may want to utilize to help assure smooth and continued operation.

      But presuming the outlay for proprietary software would have similar requirements, you can see that for every copy of windows they could obtain an unlimited number of Linux desktop copies.

      This will might allow them spend their money on custom or specialized applications which just might happened to be proprietary.

      Meanwhile, the technical community that develops in that environment will have a whole different skill set than those that develop in the Microsoft mono culture.

      Western governments, still dependent on Microsoft are sandbagging themselves into a smaller and smaller dry-hole against the rising tide of Linux everywhere else in the world.

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:28PM (#27545765) Homepage Journal
        This seems to happen in places where money, and especially foreign exchange are at a premium. A big advantage for the Tatarstan Ministry of Education is that they don't have to commit to lots of purchases in US dollars. Instead, as you point out, they can make their own engineers who will work for local currency, and educate their people at the same time.
        • Re:Doing the math... (Score:5, Informative)

          by tftp (111690) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:43PM (#27545807) Homepage

          Tatarstan [wikipedia.org] is part of Russian Federation, which means that they can hire programmers and IT people from anywhere in Russia, not just from its own, much smaller, population. UNIX (*BSD and Linux) is well known in Russia.

          • Tatarstan is a made up country bordering Elbonia and about 1000 kilometres to the east of Genovia and Latveria.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This seems to happen in places where money, and especially foreign exchange are at a premium.

          I believe that money is at a premium in all educational institutions. The college where I teach CS is looking at an $X million budget cut and our department is set to lose 2 lecturers.

          But can we wean our people off MS? Can we heck as like.

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:04PM (#27545699) Homepage
      As in 'training' costs for open source software versus proprietary closed source licence fees, it also allows money to spent spent on customising open source software for specific long term applications versus throwing away money on 'temporary' software licence fees (the reality being they often last no longer than two years in actual use).
    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Other way around. If you spend $20,000 on MS Office, you're allowed to spend up to $20,000 on OpenOffice. And presumably deposit the change in a convenient Swiss bank account.

    • "In other words, their expenditures for proprietary software must equal to $0.00?"

      I know you are trying to be fun here but then, you know not all operations allow for the commutative operation.

      They said "open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software" not "propietary software procurement funding match expenditures for open source". So no: it doesn't mean expenditures for propietary software must equal to $0.00".

      In the other hand, it says "expenditures" not "expenditures from li

  • Desktop Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by derrida (918536) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:19PM (#27545527) Homepage
    That's the way to the desktop. Through governments and big organizations.
    • by voss (52565)

      It sounds weird but how do you think dos/windows got into homes? Its because its what the kids were using in schools.

      • by ibbie (647332)
        Er, you must've been lucky. My high school had old arse Apple IIe's (which was an upgrade from the Apple IIc they had, years prior, but still) when I had a nice, Win 3.11/DOS box at home.
        • by maxume (22995)

          The IIc was an update of the IIe, not the other way around (and they were on the market at roughly the same time, the big difference being that the IIc was smaller and more self contained).

      • Um, no, no, no. Apple introduced dirt cheap computers into the education market so people would be familiar with them and end up buying them. On the other hand, DOS systems were already dirt cheap so businesses looking to field many computers would choose the DOS systems even though they (in some respects) were inferior to the Apple boxes. So between school and work most people chose to go with the cheap option they would be using for their professional lives which was DOS.

        Fast forward a few years and w
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lukas84 (912874)

          Windows isn't exactly cheap in a company environment, but it does require very little development resources compared to FOSS for most deployments.

          For a company, this means that you have less in-house development which means you can buy personnel on the market which is already proficient with the infrastructure you use, and that there is no need to develop software in-house.

          Especially for smaller companies, this pans out mostly okay. For larger companies, Linux may make sense as the cost of in-house developm

          • "Especially for smaller companies, this pans out mostly okay. For larger companies, Linux may make sense as the cost of in-house development and Microsoft licensing may start to get on even footing."

            But if the "larger company" happens to do things the way it is supposed to be (that is, allowing redistribution of their not strategical in-house development) which is quite expectable from a government organization, then you can have these customizations on smaller companies too, which then start to get on even

    • by westlake (615356)
      That's the way to the desktop. Through governments and big organizations.

      The mandate from on high.

      I have wondered more than once how the geek keeps a straight face when he talks about the cathedral and the bazaar.

      It couldn't be made plainer that he is more comfortable dealing with the OCP exec and the party bureaucrat.

      So much more tractable than the countless users who chose Windows or OSX.

      The geek fancies himself as the rebel. The libertarian.

      He's not. He is the establishment.

      He wasn't born and b

  • Expect More of This (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre.geekbiker@net> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:26PM (#27545561) Homepage Journal

    With the world economic situation putting strains on government money, they will be forced to consider cheaper alternatives. OSS can be much cheaper, but its cost is not going to be zero. You have to consider training and support. Even so, substantial savings can be had by going the OSS route. Companies like Microsoft must be shaking in their boots. If OSS gets a decent foothold in government, it will cause an expansion in the private sector. Years from now when the economy improves, OSS will be firmly entrenched.

    Hopefully, financially responsibility in government will occur elsewhere as a result, but I'm not holding my breath.

    • by icebike (68054) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:41PM (#27545619)

      > OSS can be much cheaper, but its cost is not going to be zero. You have to consider training and support.

      On the other hand, we all know that children arrive from the womb conversant in the ways of Windows?

      You can't seriously think this requirement ONLY applies to opensource, can you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No, but these governments already have computers, and they are switching to free-libre software. The fact that they are switching is where the training costs are incurred -- temporary, yes, but costs that must be overcome if free-libre software will gain a foothold.
      • by Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) <robertfranz@gmail.com> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:52PM (#27545847)

        Let me postulate this:

        MS awakes tomorrow, and jumps with both feet on the foss model.

        However, they also charge for support.

        Now, given MS existing penetration, could the *nix companies compete?

        MS has depth of support that few linux companies can approach.

        I indirectly worked for them briefly after the 95 launch as a support rep.

        I had a case escalated to the point where MS paid for the customer to ship their PC to Redmond so that the engineering department could comb through it to diagnose a low level driver that was flaky.

        The result was a hotfix that replaced the floppy driver used for Toshiba notebooks.

        The whole process took very little time - a couple of weeks.

        Sure, linux *can* respond as quickly, but as a rule it doesn't.

        Case in point - the glaring flaw in the glibc libraries of RH 6.2 that made it wholly unusable on multiprocessor servers because threads would start spawning and eating up resources until the system crashed.

        Yeah - it was that bad.

        Yeah - RH knew about it, and so did many developers in the community.

        No, no one ever did fix it iirc.

        It remained broken until 7.0 came out, and it had it's own serious flaws.

        So, can linux compete from a support standpoint?

        • "So, can linux compete from a support standpoint?"

          I don't think that's the point. Not at least from Microsoft's point of view. Microsoft's point of view is "I'm top of the hill" so in any change to the 'statu quo' I'm facing ending worse than now, since there's no high up I can go. That's why Microsoft fights nail and theeth to open source: for them it can only mean a change for the worse.

          On the other hand, if this means Microsoft comes to compete on equal foot, quality and service-wise, with alternative

          • Oh, I don't really care about MS' point of view.

            The aren't going to suddenly go open source, and I don't particularly desire that they do so.

            The point I was sneaking up on is that because of the way the open source arena has evolved, it has a distinct disadvantage in terms of support.

            So looking at this from the point of view of open source adopters, they are going to have support costs which aren't anywhere near trivial.

            As much as I'd like to move the company for which I manage IT into open source products,

            • "The point I was sneaking up on is that because of the way the open source arena has evolved, it has a distinct disadvantage in terms of support."

              It's only that's bullshit. It won't be neither "open source" nor "Linux" the one that will offer you corporate support. It will be Red Hat, HP, Canonical, IBM, etc. so you question shouldn't be "So, can linux compete from a support standpoint?" but "So, can [IBM|Red Hat|Canonical...] compete from a support standpoint with Microsoft?". Quite a different questio

      • by rossz (67331)

        With our public schools teaching Windows and Microsoft Office as part of the standard curriculum, the training costs to business and government is vastly reduced. A whole generation is entering the workforce with a solid (cough) foundation in a very specific set of commercial software. When/If FOSS becomes the norm that would change, but in the mean time, a lot of people will need to be retrained.

        • With our public schools teaching Windows and Microsoft Office as part of the standard curriculum...

          My experience (and that of my father's) does not match yours. Given your UID, I would imagine that my anecdotes are more recent than yours. :)
          I went to a rural high school in the very late 1990's. The only computer education I received from the State was a touch-typing course. My father is currently teaching in a suburban high school. The students in that school receive even less computer training that I did. The majority of their touch-typing class is devoted to internet browsing.

          • My experience is the opposite, and is current. My son must turn in his reports in ms word format. That is what they use at their elementary school.

            • Have they stopped teaching handwriting in elementary school?

              • No, they teach printing in grade 1, cursive in grade 2, and grades 3+ do their reports on the computer.

            • "My son must turn in his reports in ms word format. That is what they use at their elementary school."

              Is he using Microsoft Word 2.0? For, you know, chances are that by the time your son is stablished on the job market current Word version will resemble today's much like Word 2.0 resembles to current.

              I never understood the (circular) argument. Companies choose Microsoft because that what was thought to our children ten years ago; and we must teach Microsoft to our children because that's what will use in

              • That logic is flawed because kids don't stop writing reports in the 3rd grade. They write them non-stop until they graduate. What he uses in his last year of school is likely what he'll use to write his resume. And what he'll be using in his first post-school job (Or perhaps while he's still in school). And at that time, he'll have years of experience working with that suite. It makes sense, doesn't it?

                $89 for the entire office suite? His books are many times more expensive and the other school suppli
            • My experience is the opposite, and is current. My son must turn in his reports in ms word format. That is what they use at their elementary school.

              And other office suites can't read or write in MS compatible formats? Come on. We are all techs here. We know the score.

              Open Office, Abiword etc.. You will be hard pressed to find a word processor that doesn't have an option to save as a word compatible document. I just checked, and Abiword even has an OOXML save option. And unless reports of teaching standards are greatly underestimated, and teachers are without exception, power users all of a sudden, the teacher will not be using complex change tracking a

              • That is what they use at their elementary school.

                And other office suites can't read or write in MS compatible formats? Come on. We are all techs here. We know the score.

                Open Office, Abiword etc.. You will be hard pressed to find a word processor that doesn't have an option to save as a word compatible document. I just checked, and Abiword even has an OOXML save option. And unless reports of teaching standards are greatly underestimated, and teachers are without exception, power users all of a sudden, the teacher will not be using complex change tracking and embedding corrections and marking in the document before saving and handing it back.

                So your suggesting that we should all use open software so that he can spend his time learning that instead of writing his report? Did you miss the part where I said that is what they use at school? He already knows ms word. Sometimes he has to bring his reports to/from school where he works on them. Sorry, but we did try OpenOffice already. It was a pain in the butt to be honest. Besides the issue of user interface and how you actually go about doing things being different, we had an import issue fro

          • by rossz (67331)

            My experience is based on what my stepdaughter took in school. I did make it a point to complain that the local schools were wasting money on commercial software when free alternatives were readily available. I also voiced my displeasure in them teaching to the advantage of one corporation. I told them they should be teaching skills that were more generally useful, not how to format paragraphs in Microsoft Word. Unfortunately, the woman with the title of "technology expert" at the grammar school barely

      • by msormune (808119)
        The OP is not saying that, he's just saying OSS costs is not going to be zero...
      • On the other hand, we all know that children arrive from the womb conversant in the ways of Windows?

        No, but per Microsoft's latest TV commercials in the United States: "I'm a PC, and I'm four and a half." Children will be familiar with Windows after having used it to start PC games at home.

    • by tftp (111690) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:49PM (#27545835) Homepage

      OSS can be much cheaper, but its cost is not going to be zero.

      All countries make a big distinction between (a) importing foreign goods and (b) paying their own citizens in local currency. Countries sell only so much on international market, and so they can only buy an equivalent amount of goods[*]. Here not only you free a part of your foreign trade up for other necessities (like patented medical materials or instruments,) you also create jobs for your own citizens.

      [*] Does not apply to the USA, which is still living off of its credit card.

    • You mean like "Today Tatarstan, tomorrow a slightly larger Russian republic in Central Asia"?

    • "With the world economic situation putting strains on government money [...] substantial savings can be had by going the OSS route."

      What does this exactly mean? If some choice is really cheaper (like not cheaper in front costs but more expensive in the long run) do we allow government to overexpend if it happens to be a buoyant economy situation? If it's cheaper, it's cheaper, economic situation has nothing to do.

  • by 10am-bedtime (11106) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @08:29PM (#27545567)

    I'm reminded of a pebble dropped in a puddle. The initial splash causes ripples that lap the sides, wetting them enough so that flies settle to eat there. The pebble, meanwhile, lies there and is only seen again after all the life surrounding the puddle has erupted and moved on, after the baking sun is done its drying.

    So it is w/ Free Software in the United States.

    It's not bad being outside, it seems. Lighter and more free.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WTF does that even mean?

      • It means that 10am-bedtime needs to sleep more?

      • by Yfrwlf (998822)
        I dunno, but that reminds me of the hamster in the ball, who was always sorta bored watching TV until finally his favourite star Bolt shows up at his doorstep, and he's all like woah, and Bolt is all like yep, and Mittens is all like wuuuuut, and we're all like haha.

        Sorry, thought I'd contribute to the randomness. ^^
    • Its okay, me too. :D
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Emergency civilian corporate aid black op authorised.
    Mission priority: Alpha.
    B-2 Stealth bomber carrying elite commando of Microsoft sales ninjas in orbital personnel deployment pods despatched from a private airport near Seattle.
    Destination, Tatarstan.
    Emergency use of ECHELON mind control sub system authorised by NSA.

  • by Charles Dodgeson (248492) * <jeffrey@goldmark.org> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:15PM (#27545733) Homepage Journal

    After some searching, I haven't actually found much more in the Hungarian news than was reported in TFA. So, I can't add many details.

    What I can say is that there is a fair chance that the coalition that rules Hungary today will not be in place six months from now. Secondly, Hungary needs immediate cost savings. It is not in any position to spend money now to save money later.

    This might be part of the motivation. Hungary's currency is in collapse, so it is much cheaper for the government to pay local developers in forints for software and systems than it is to pay Microsoft and Novell in dollars or euros.

    I'd love to know the internal machinations that went on here, but I suspect that someone took the opportunity of the fall of the forint and the foreign currency debt problem (an enormous problem) to push an open source agenda. Whether this will hold up, or whether MS will make a counter offer allowing the Hungarian government to pay cheaply in forints remains to be seen.

    • by domatic (1128127)

      I'd love to know the internal machinations that went on here, but I suspect that someone took the opportunity of the fall of the forint and the foreign currency debt problem (an enormous problem) to push an open source agenda. Whether this will hold up, or whether MS will make a counter offer allowing the Hungarian government to pay cheaply in forints remains to be seen.

      That at least is a MS getting a taste of it's own medicine. I rather like the idea of improving FOSS further and forcing MS to take that m

    • After some searching, I haven't actually found much more in the Hungarian news than was reported in TFA. So, I can't add many details.

      I've now found more on this (in Hungarian) [origo.hu]. My ability to read Hungarian is limited, but I do see that according to Gábor Bódi (whose government job title, I can't even begin to translate, but it is pretty high up) "this will be a trial year, with many possible outcomes of this initiative."

      If I am reading that article correctly (and it is very possible that I am not), while the proposal clearly talks about open source software (nyílt forráskód), much of the justification

      • by cheoppy (1352767)
        You are reading that correctly, they plan to spend 12 billion (or thousand million) forints on that. By the way they plan to spend the same amount of money on MS and Novell softwares, which they already did in the previous years. I think it is not extraordinary in Hungary that they spend that much money, when the country has a financial problem, this country can be so weird sometimes.
      • <quote> Less plausibly, it seems that it is talking about a plan to spend 12 thousand million Hungarian forints (54 million USD) on this. I cannot believe that I am reading that correctly. ... So let's just assume that I'm misreading that and hope someone who actually reads Hungarian comments on this. </quote>

        Hungarian reading person here. As for your question:

        Yes, the number is right, it's about 54 million USD as maximal spending allocation for OSS - same amount as for MS and Novel - as it read
    • I'm not optimistic either about the sincerity of this attempt. The guy who made this statement might not be a minister from next Tuesday, when there'll be a new PM, who will reshuffle the government. I also hope that Hungary might have a snap election too. This reeks as if the minister was trying to look as if he did something neutral/good in the last few days he has.

      In any case, the language the minister used is a bit deceptive. Unfortunately after taking a close look at what he said, it seems the money
      • by Wodin (33658)

        In any case, the language the minister used is a bit deceptive. Unfortunately after taking a close look at what he said, it seems the money can only be spent on _licences_.

        On the plus side, you can "buy" a hell of a lot of licenses for Open Source software with 12,000,000,000 florints!

      • Thank you for your extremely informative post. (This is a hint to moderators).

        I'm not optimistic either about the sincerity of this attempt.

        Surely you are not suggesting that the Hungarian government would ever lie to voters [telegraph.co.uk]. Such a thing would be unheard of. Though actually on that issue, when parties make promises to voters that they can't keep, I prefer the party that knows it's lying to the one that deludes itself into thinking it's telling the truth.

        The guy who made this statement might not be a minister from next Tuesday, when there'll be a new PM, who will reshuffle the government.

        Yes, the instability isn't just financial. I'm curious to see who the hell will actually be willing to take the

        • And to make matters worse, in my opinion the current government is still better than the opposition.

          Hungary has to be viewed in context of the past 25 or so years. I like to liken the situation to a nuclear explosion. The communist dictatorship part was the direct hit and the short term effects, but the more insidious parts are the long term effects, the radiation. Hungary became a democracy pro forma in 1990, but the mindset and thinking of the people didn't really change. They lived under a communist dic

          • I won't respond to all of your points, and I am certainly glad that you posted them so that others know the background. I lived in Hungary from 1988 through 1994, and I speak the language reasonably well. I've been a supporter of the SzDSz, but was never happy about how quickly they went to bed with the Socialists.

            I will say that in the run up to the last elections both sides were lying through their teeth about what kind of spending they could promise. The difference is that some on the left actually kn

    • by adpads (1320131)

      To the contrary! I feel optimistic about it. Take what he says at face value: this is one of the first acts of the new guy stepping up to lead Hungary, equivalent to Obama's closing of Guantanamo, and it's meant to send a message. And the language he uses is that the move is intended to "foster competition" in the marketplace, and to "encourage the growth of free thinking" (to render the second paragraph of the article Charles Dodgson posted above). It's beautiful talk coming from any government, no?

      Also, n

  • Hungary won't change many attitudes in the U.S.

    • Hungary won't change many attitudes in the U.S.

      Why would that matter?

    • Sure, Hungary might not, but there have been many, many, many countries that have switched to OSS. And whenever a few more do, then Red Hat, Novell, Sun and a ton of other US based companies in OSS can say, "Hey, we are based in the USA like MS is, and all these countries have switched to OSS and have saved X dollars, why not use a pilot program in X department and look at the cost savings" and then OSS will have a larger foothold in the USA.
  • "...independent former Russian republic of Tatarstan..." Someone needs a basic lesson in geography and contemporary world politics.
    • Re:Geography lesson? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:36PM (#27545789)

      Indeed. Perhaps they were confused by the common phrase "former Soviet Republic", which refers to entities that were formerly Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), but became independent around 1991, like Ukraine.

      Republics of Russia, though are subnational entities that are still part of Russia (pre-1991, part of the Russian SFSR). They are one of several kinds of top-level subnational divisions of Russia, others including Oblasts and Krais and so on. The Republics are those with a traditional non-Russian population, so have some autonomy in the areas of language use. But they're effectively what other countries call provinces or prefectures.

      • The Republics are those with a traditional non-Russian population, so have some autonomy in the areas of language use. But they're effectively what other countries call provinces or prefectures.

        Except that this one declared independence (which is not uncommon) and Russia seemingly acknowledged it (which is unheard of):
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan#Tatarstan_today [wikipedia.org]

        • In your link:

          Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of the Russian Federation

          What words of "federal subject" you don't understand? Term republic often cause confusion in the west, because Russian republic have more freedom than American states, have distinct ethnicity, but still is part of Russia. It's close with how Scotland have autonomous status in UK.

        • by JAlexoi (1085785)
          Yeah... Right....
          Tatars are so much integrated with Russia, that their independence is basically impossible. I consider myself Russian, although genetically I am tatar 50% and Russian 12.5%.
        • by JAlexoi (1085785)
          FYI: Sovereignty is NOT same as independence. They declared sovereignty. Let alone, their constitution states that they are a part of Russian Federation. And their status may change only with an agreement from both Russia and Tatarstan.
  • Well it's about time! We can rejoice, my FOSS brothers.
  • by petr999 (1530231) on Saturday April 11, 2009 @09:44PM (#27545815) Homepage

    Tatarstan is the subject of Russian Federation and actually is the same way independent as any other one.
    More to say: sovereign independence of Tatarstan is the thing both impossible because it has no any outer state borders AND inevitably should lead to total destruction of Russia which is not the case to happen.
    As a fact, the "pilot education program" about FOSS is the Alt Linux disk set packaged with a book for schools, is performed in several regions of Russia, Tatarstan is simply among them.
    I even know someone in person from altlinux moscow based development team who is originally from Tatarstan.
    Hope this is a fix to correct the info.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Even the guy who submitted the summary didn't read his own link.

      For those that don't want to invest the twenty seconds necessary to read the above:

      *** Tatarstan is part of Russia. ***

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      "More to say: sovereign independence of Tatarstan is the thing both impossible because it has no any outer state borders AND inevitably should lead to total destruction of Russia which is not the case to happen."

      THat's
      1) Off-topic
      2) Pile of bullshit

  • Linux is coming to you from 2 directions, the totally visible one that is your very government using/standarizing on it, and the subtle one that are cellphones and netbook bios.

    At this rate wont be surprised a lot if Windows 8 ends being a MS version of Wine running in top of linux.
  • ... Tatarstan will get a lot of plaque from Microsoft for this move.

    (yes, I originally read it as "Tartarstan")

  • I thought this had to do with being hungry for tartar sauce.
  • Texas, Hawaii, and if you believe the rhetoric, Vermont and California were independent nations at one time.

    Alaska was once controlled by Russia.

  • The singapore armed forces went for open source office software about a year ago but you donÃt hear that on slashdot
  • Yay Hungary! My grandfather would be so proud. Many years ago he called me and said, "I hear there's an alternative to this Microsoft bull shit. Make it happen on my computer. Oh, and I just got my Hungarian keyboard in. Make that work too."

  • by ignavus (213578) on Sunday April 12, 2009 @01:26AM (#27546541)

    Russia - which used to be the bad guy - is adoptng Linux - which is the good guy - while the US - who is supposed to be the good guy - keeps hanging onto Microsoft - which are the bad guys?

    So who are we supposed to support if they ever go to war?

    PS: are they going to change the name of the capital of Tatarstan to Linuxgrad? And they could also have a Stallmangrad. Think of the tourism income from geeks...

    • If we ever go to war with Russia, we support Russia. We support every other country in the world that is not the regime of united states.

  • Please fix the factual error - Tatarstan is neither tiny (it is bigger then Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) or independent.

  • There is no such a thing as free klobasa!

  • In Soviet Russia, the Tatarstan-window manager owns you!
  • Tatarstan is not tiny - it is one of the most populous and important regions of Russia. Its capital Kazan is one of the most important cities in Russia.

    Tatarstan is not independent - it is an autonomy within the Russian Federation.

    Tatarstan is not a former Russian republic - see above.

  • I hope the tiny independent republic of Texas, former state of the U.S., will make a good use of Linux-based systems in its national education.
  • the tiny independent former Russian republic of Tatarstan

    Last I checked it still was a republic inside the Russian Federation.

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