Open Source Makes New Inroads in Asia and Sardinia
Slowly but surely, open source software is making its way to countries that have previously seen very little FOSS adoption, and the good news is that for many of these countries, it's the best technology choice to make. In the past week, a regional government arm in Sardinia passed a far-reaching bill to promote open source software throughout the country, and representatives from nine Asian countries formed an alliance to promote open source. What challenges lie ahead?
Sardinia's bill is not yet officially law, but it looks like it will become so. "The new law will reduce costs, boost local software enterprises, and encourage experimentation and innovation," says Massimo Dadea, an official responsible for general affairs, reports Computerworld.
Meanwhile, technology officials or representatives of open source software centers from China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have signed an agreement to promote open source software in their respective countries. Initiatives will include "human resource development, conferences, seminars, workshops and regular meetings." Members of the alliance will also develop a web site and a database for knowledge exchange across all the countries.
Government support of open source throughout Europe has been steadily on the rise. We recently reported on Actuate's survey of IT decision makers in Europe, which produced these findings, as compared to North America:
"French respondents to the survey were asked about the extent to which open source software is considered when procuring software, and close to two-thirds (61.6%) stated that it is either the preferred option, or explicitly considered as an option. German respondents slightly exceeded that, with 63.6% of respondents saying the same thing. The survey found that just over half (51%) of German respondents are actively using open source software, with 43% for the UK, 42% for France and 40% for North America."
The alliance formed in Asia looks particularly promising. In my opinion, The Linux Foundation is a great example of a group-driven entity that is making major contributions to open source adoption. The Asian alliance, focused around a shared site and a shared database of open source knowledge and resources could produce some of the same good results, given proper cooperation. Hopefully, the alliance will reach out to some areas that haven't joined on, such as Indonesia.