Linux Thais up more support

The open source message has been warmly received in Thailand, where Microsoft is already under pressure from Linux
Written by Ingrid Marson, Contributor
A Thai government agency is driving the adoption of open source software in government departments, not-for-profit organisations and universities across Thailand.

The Thai Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) wants to encourage governments and organisations to start using open source software for server communication applications and for desktop office productivity applications, and to migrate to other applications later, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday.

SIPA also recommended that schools and universities should run introductory open source computer courses and that a Linux professional certification programme should be set up, to ensure that more people have open source skills.

At present, less than 1 percent of software on PCs in Thailand is open source, while open source software makes up 20 to 30 percent of software in large projects, according to a recent survey.

Thailand is not the only Asian country encouraging the adoption of open source software. The Chinese, Japanese and Korean governments are working together to research and develop open source systems.

Some Asian government agencies have already made the move to open source, including the Singapore Ministry of Defence, which has installed OpenOffice.org on over 5,000 PCs and is planning to deploy it on a further 15,000.

SIPA's move comes at a time when Microsoft is coming under growing pressure from the open source movement in many countries. Last September, it launched a slimmed-down version of Windows XP for novice computer users in Thailand.

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