Israel to suspend Microsoft buys

Israel became the latest government to embrace the open-source movement in software, saying this week that it would suspend purchases of Microsoft's productivity software and explore less costly, open-source alternatives. Though the full impact remains to be seen, open-source advocates embraced it as another sign that their movement -- which involves using publicly available code to create software -- is gaining momentum.

"It's an extremely big announcement,'' said Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager for OpenOffice.org. "What we've been seeing in the last nine months is more and more national governments moving over and supporting open-source endeavors. Israel is an extremely important economy.'' Suarez-Potts said his group would soon be able to release a Hebrew language version of its software as part of a broad effort to develop localized versions. OpenOffice.org is an effort sponsored by Sun Microsystems to develop open-source versions of software that would compete against Microsoft Office, the suite of productivity software from the Redmond, Wash., company.

News source: The Mercury News

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