17 January 2008

GNU/Linux: The Great Unifier

Well, maybe:

South Korea is one of Linux's biggest converts. Since discovering the free operating system in 2003, officials have unveiled plans to switch all government-run offices to Linux. Now under the terms of the agreement signed between the two states, South Korea will set up Linux training centres in North Korea.


Under the banner of "Hana Linux" - literally "One" Linux - the two countries have agreed to work on a groundbreaking IT development project that might shatter the final Cold War boundary.

Update: But Gen Kanai points out that there are problems with this rosy picture.


Anonymous said...

Glynn, none of this "Linux in Korea" news makes any sense in light of the fact that South Korea does not use SSL but their own home brewed encryption cipher, SEED, which only works on Windows with IE. So none of these Linux users in North or South Korea can do any kind of secure transaction on the Internet.

I've documented on my Mozilla blog (the cost of monoculture and update on the cost of monoculture in Korea) the fact that South Koreans cannot do any secure transactions with South Korean websites without Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer. Look at the non-adoption of Linux on the desktop or even Apple's Macintosh in South Korea- basically no market share whatsoever.

The fact of the matter is that Linux in weak in Asia. No one I speak to in China uses Red Flag Linux. Japanese Linux distributions are marginalized to the point of absurdity and a "leading" Japanese distribution is partnered with Microsoft. Korea may talk a Linux game but the reality is that everyone uses Windows. I'd like to be able to say that Asia is a hotbed of OSS innovation but I don't see that reality.

Glyn Moody said...

Yes, I wondered about the encryption issue. So what are these stories then? Fairy tales?

And why is GNU/Linux so weak in Japan? It can't be because of illegal copies of Windows, as in China, I presume: so what?