Meanwhile, in Russia…
If Google translate is to be trusted, a Russian publication has claimed that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed an order to transition the technological “power structures and the federal budget to free software” starting in the second quarter of 2012.
The 17-page document, “Transition Plan of the Federal Authorities and Federal Budgetary Institutions to Free Software,” covers the period from 2011 to 2015.
According to Deputy Head of the Ministry of Communications Ilya Massuh, the document describes a complete transition of the federal government and state employees to GNU/Linux. The time-line set forth in the document has set 5 goals:
- 2011, 2nd Quarter: Approbation of a basic package of free software in the pilot sites
- 2011, 3rd Quarter: Approval of data formats to be supported by free software
- 2011, 3rd Quarter: Plan developed for changes in instructions to record intangible assets
- 2012, 2nd Quarter: Creation of a national repository
- 2014, 3rd Quarter: Introduction of a package of free software in government and fiscal institutions
Massuh hinted of having the repository operate like an App Store for open Linux software.
Putin has apparently been a fan of Linux since 2007 when a report surfaced recommending the switch of many government agencies to the platform. It reappeared in 2008 but was shelved after push back from some of the ministries.
“The fact that Putin has signed the order for this project could be critical: there have been several previous plans for moving parts of the Russian government to using free software, notably in the educational sector, but in practice they have mostly failed to materialize because there has been insufficient political weight behind them,” said Glyn Moody from OpenDotDotDot.
“But if Putin says: “make it so”, I suspect that a lot of people will jump pretty fast to make sure that it is so. And once that happens, other plans to roll out free software might well suddenly look rather more attractive.”