Japan Mulls Switch To Linux For Public Servants Data

The government would use the open-source operating system to manage personnel data for the nation's 800,000 central government employees.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

July 9, 2003

1 Min Read

TOKYO (AP) -- The Japanese government is considering using the free Linux software program when it upgrades its computer data files for public servants in 2005.

Japan has chosen a proposal submitted by a group made up of Fujitsu, IBM Japan, and Oki Electric Industry Co. The companies suggest using Linux to manage salary and other personnel data for the nation's 800,000 central government employees, government official Masanobu Arao said Wednesday.

Details of the design are still being developed, he said.

The leading business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Wednesday the government had decided on Linux, saying that using the software will halve maintenance costs because it is free.

The 188 million yen ($1.6 million) contract underlines an overall trend toward favoring Linux to slash costs, Fujitsu spokesman Bob Pomeroy said.

In recent years, Linux has become a low-cost alternative to proprietary operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. The free, open-source operating system is used in network servers and desktops.

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