Interesting: Vladimir Putin has signed an order to move the Russian government to free software over the next four years.
The transition to open-source, or free, software will begin in the second quarter of 2011, with the Ministry of Communications examining what base software packages are needed for government agencies, according to the documents. During the same quarter, the ministry and other agencies will develop proposals for user support centers and for mechanisms to support software developers, the documents said.
Russian agencies will also begin an inventory of their IT assets during the second quarter of 2011, the documents said. Pilot agencies will begin using a basic package open-source software in the second quarter of 2012, according to the transition schedule.
Official adoption of Firefox has been going around here and there, but this goes way beyond that, with plans to deploy Linux in place of Windows, to replace Microsoft Office, and so on. The order talks of replacing proprietary software with free software,
including operating systems, drivers for hardware and application software for servers and user workstations.
On the other hand, while Computerworld’s report mentions open-source software, I’m not sure about the idiom. The word the order uses, свободного (genitive of свободный), seems to mean
free as in
unrestricted, which is the same sense as it’s used by the Free Software Foundation — not free of charge, so much as free access. There are differences between
free software and official plan) applies to the latter or not.