IBM Make Linux For Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
9/28/2009
12:11 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
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IBM Make Linux For Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan

Jagshemash! Today I have news that IBM opened Linux development center in Borat's homeland of Kazakhstan. It hopes to make country open source capital for all of Central Asia-including the ***holes in Uzbekistan.

Jagshemash! Today I have news that IBM opened Linux development center in Borat's homeland of Kazakhstan. It hopes to make country open source capital for all of Central Asia-including the ***holes in Uzbekistan.No longer will people of great land be reliant on export of toffee, potassium and pants belts for survival. Great American software company has arrived!

But seriously now.

IBM sees more potential in Kazakhstan than comedian Sacha Baron Cohen-whose fictionalized depiction of the world's ninth largest nation portrays a land where neighbors vie to become the first to own a clock radio, men have nude wrestling matches, and women can get a trophy for being "number four prostitute in all of Kazakhstan."

The real country differs vastly from Cohen's highly satirized version.

It hosts the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's first private launch facility, will chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010, and features an ethnically and culturally diverse population of more than 16 million.

Those are some of the reasons why IBM views Kazakhstan as an ideal environment for a center, announced Friday, that will help promote open source software in the growing Central Asian region, which also includes Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan (not Borat's favorite), Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. It also borders China's Western frontier.

The region is home to a number of growing economies, but there's not a lot of disposable income to go around. Thus, free software has a better chance of making inroads there than pricey Microsoft offerings.

"Kazakhstan faces the ambitious task of growing and enhancing its IT infrastructure very fast to match the demands of a new economy," says Inna Kuznetsova, IBM's VP for Systems Software. "Using open source and standards-based computing, Kazakhstan can avoid the pitfalls of an expensive, proprietary infrastructure and build a more flexible IT foundation to expedite economic development," says Kuznetsova.

Put another way, IBM thinks Kazakhstan and other emerging markets are better off devoting scarce resources to building out businesses and infrastructure rather than paying a tax to Redmond on every piece of computing hardware they own. Big Blue hopes it will benefit from the growth in the long run by selling more advanced software and services into these markets once their economies mature.

IBM's Kazakhstan center, in the capital city of Astana, will offer Linux support to regional ISVs and business partners and help local governments prototype services based on open source foundations. It will also focus on developing e-learning and other professional training systems for tech workers in the area.

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