Monday, 20 May 2019 07:53

South Korean Government mulls move to Linux

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South Korean Government mulls move to Linux Pixabay

A little more than six months before Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, the South Korean Government is considering a switch to Linux, the country's Interior and Safety Ministry has said.

The Korea Herald reported that the ministry would be testing Linux on its PCs and, if no security issues were encountered, the government would slowly move to introduce Linux for its use.

Microsoft has said it would end support and updates for Windows 7 on 14 January 2020, and is advising users to switch to Windows 10.

The company has said Windows 7 users could upgrade to Windows 10 on their existing hardware, and obtain a full licence, if the hardware met certain requirements.

But it added that it would be better to move to a new PC with Windows 10 in order to take advantage of new hardware capabilities in the latest version of its operating system.

The Herald report said the Linux move was driven by concerns over the cost of maintaining Windows 7 in the absence of free technical support.

Moving to Linux and the purchase of new PCs was estimated to cost the government about US$655 million, according to the ministry.

Choi Jang-hyuk, the head of the ministry's digital service bureau, said the ministry expected to cut its costs by introducing Linux and also avoid dependence on a single operating system.

A switch will only be undertaken once Linux is tested to see its security when running on private networked devices, and also its compatibility with existing websites and software that had been built for Windows.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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