Magazine article Information Today

Cambodia

Magazine article Information Today

Cambodia

Article excerpt

In a move designed to help dislodge Microsoft Windows from Far" East markets, Japan, China, and South Korea are throwing their weight behind the creation of an open source operating system for the Asian market.

An agreement was reached in September at an Asian economic summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Japanese trade minister Takeo Hiranuma made an official proposal that was backed by China and South Korea.

Expected to be based on open source software such as Linux, it remains unclear whether the planned new OS will be created as a government-backed venture or consist of government support for a system distributed by the private sector. Nevertheless, Japanese media have reported that Japan's government has committed $86 million to the project.

In what Teehworld.com described as "a remarkable pot-calling-the-kettle-black incident," Microsoft immediately denounced the proposal, claiming it could raise concerns over fair competition. Tom Robertson, Microsoft's Tokyo-based director for government affairs, told Reuters: "We'd like to see the market decide who the winners are in the software industry. Governments should not be in a position to decide who the winners are."

Speculating that one of the goals of the new initiative may be to extract price reductions from Microsoft, Tech-world also pointed out that when the government in Thailand launched a scheme to offer subsidized Linux PCs, Microsoft responded by cutting the price of Windows in that country. …

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