China eschews Windows for Linux
Asia Loves Linux -- And Microsoft Scrambles
Cost, adaptability, and security concerns have more IT managers ditching Windows for open-source software
Bill Gates has never met Chen Yongguang, but the Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ) founder's future may be more dependent on the Chinese information-technology manager -- and thousands like him -- than he'd like. Chen is in charge of IT for the city of Xiaolan, in China's Guangdong province, and recently has become a convert to Linux, the free alternative to Microsoft's flagship Windows computer operating system. Chen recently turned to the software to run the Xiaolan government's 18 servers. It's cheaper than Windows, though saving money "is not a big consideration," he insists. More important, Chen says, is that Linux is less vulnerable to viruses and other rogue programs. He's also pleased that he can get the source code for the software, which allows him to adapt it more easily to his needs. "Windows is not open," he says. "You can't change it."
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