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Russian government abandoning Windows for Linux

It’s an explicitly political, anti-U.S. decision.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Over 22,000 Russian government agencies and municipalities are ready to make the switch from Windows to Linux, according to President Vladimir Putin’s top Internet adviser.

In an interview with Bloomberg, German Klimenko, Putin’s so-called “Internet czar,” said the decision to switch the nation’s official operating system was prompted when U.S. companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple complied with American sanctions against Russia over Putin’s annexation of Crimea.

“It’s like a wife seeing her husband with another woman—he can swear an oath afterward, but the trust is lost,” Klimenko said.

The relationship between Russia and American tech giants “reached the point of no return” at that point, according to the Klimenko, but had been souring for some time.

Klimenko has moved to increase Russia’s authority over the Internet during his short tenure. Recently, he pushed to increase Russian taxes on companies like Google and Apple. He’s also criticized American companies for failing to answer Russian police requests for data despite replying to over 32,000 such requests from American authorities.

There’s no word on any specifics for the country’s switch to Linux, including what distribution of the new operating system the government would choose or how long such a transition might take.

Some observers have wondered if the talk is all bluster toward the U.S. government and the country’s tech giants. Munich, Germany’s government made the switch to Linux a decade ago, though not without occasionally looking back.

H/T fossbytes | Photo via Germanklimenko/Wikimedia (CC BY SA 3.0)

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