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South Korean government to switch to open source

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The South Korean government wants to increase its use of free and open source software, in order to decrease its dependence on proprietary software solutions. It plans to make open standards a requirement, to allow the government to choose between multiple operating systems and web browsers. Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning is also preparing ten pilots on using open source software distributions, reports Electronic Times, a Korean IT news site on 27 June.

The 'Open Source Software Invigoration Plan' was announced two days before by Lee Hyeok-jae, head of the Software Industry Promotion Division of the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) at a conference organised by the ICT ministry. According to ETN, one of the aims of the plan is to boost the domestic open source software industry.

Alternatives

It also involves switching to open standards such as HTML5 - which will replace a ubiquitous proprietary web content framework and so help rid e-government services of lock-in by its IT vendor. The plan also foresees a gradual increase in alternative operating systems and other software solutions over the next six years.

Next year, the ministry will start pilots on using open source workstations, involving ten public and private organisations. According to ETNews, South Korea will review the results in 2018, to see if it can switch to using open source for its own PC workstations. "We are planning to develop excellent open source software manpower by supporting open source software community activities and reinforcing university education", ETNews quotes Mr. Lee Hyeok-jae as saying. "We are considering establishing related systems so that the open source software will be invigorated as a government research and development project."

Europe's example

On 3 June, IT strategists working for the French Gendarmerie and the Dutch municipality of Ede participated in a conference in Seoul, organised by South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National IT Promotion Agency. France's Major Stéphane Dumond presented the Gendarmerie's open source migration, and Bart Lindeboom, director for computerisation and automation in the city of Ede, talked about the town's open standards strategy. Next week, a representative from Korea's ICT ministry is meeting European Commission representatives working on open source and open standards policies.

 

More information:

The government says, "we will break away from OS dependency with open source software by 2020" (Etnews news item)
'Open standards and ITIL lead to open source', France's Gendarmerie tells Korean ICT ministry (OSOR news item)
Open source heightens cooperation and flexibility' - Dutch town of Ede tells South Korea ICT ministry (OSOR news item)
'Open source crucial for cutting edge industry' - South Korea ICT ministry (OSOR news item)