As has been reported widely in Asia, South Korea is using the fact that Windows XP is no longer supported as a reason to walk away from Microsoft completely. While the rationale for this stance makes sense; updating to new versions of the Microsoft software can be expensive and time-consuming, the government should also immediately discontinue its use of Hangul. Hangul is a Korean software package similar to MS Office that is used as the default (and required) file format for most government departments. It is a major frustration for anyone submitting documents to the government, who don’t have the peculiar Korean software installed.
According to a recent government statement (and many in the past), South Korea wants to break from its Microsoft dependency and move to open source software by 2020. The government is reported as saying that they want to ‘invigorate open source software in order to solve the problem of dependency on certain software.’ The government has most recently invested in Windows 7 to replace XP, but it does not want to go through the same process in 2020 when the support of the Windows 7 service is terminated.
Korea has a long way to go. So far it has not even bought in the standard e-document format which is widely seen as stage one.
However it seems that the government hopes to lean on the creation of a “local open source alternative” which basically means designing its own Linux fork.
Under the plan support will be provided so that it will be possible to freely connect to the Internet with all operating systems and browsers by 2017.
Starting next year the pilot open sources OS project will be carried out for 10 public and private institutions, and the expenses related to employee education and systems will be supported.
By 2018, the government is planning to review whether the introduction of open source software for PCs reduced expenses and institutionalise the result so that the open OS-related private project can be further expanded.
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