Asian Linux: Some keen, others cool

Asia could leapfrog Western countries in the development of Linux-based applications, but some governments are not latching on to this opportunity, says a senior IBM executive.

"The open-source movement is moving faster here than in the U.S.," said Michinori Nakahara, manager of Linux sales and marketing for IBM Asia-Pacific South. In the region, he pointed to Japan, Korea, China and India as strongest proponents of the Linux operating system. "We've talked to authorities in countries like China and Korea, and they are very interested in considering open-source," he said.

In particular, Nakahara sees great potential for research and development into embedded Linux applications in the region. Embedded Linux, which competes with embedded operating systems such as Microsoft Windows CE and Symbian, can be used to power electronics devices such as video recorders, cell phones and network routers. "In particular, India and China are doing a lot of development on Linux at the client end," he added.

Given the momentum in the region, Nakahara is surprised that Singapore, one of the most technology-savvy nations in Asia, has stayed coy on the open-source movement and decided to forgo the chance at gaining a technological lead. "Singapore is an advanced country--a familiar location for many research institutes and one of the earliest adopters of the Internet. Yet, people here seem to very conservative towards Linux, and I'm not sure why this so," he said.

News source: Zdnet

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