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Russia plans free Windows alternative

Linux OS to tackle Microsoft monopoly

Russia plans to develop its own national operating system to take on Windows, according to reports.

The move is designed to reduce Russia's need to rely on foreign software and licensing agreements. The 'open code' solution, likely a Linux/GNU derivative, will give Russia a greater degree of customisation, as well as increased control over how the potentially free OS is used and accessed.

This isn't the first time Russia has dabbled with the idea of widespread open-source software distribution. According to Russia Today, a pilot programme is already underway in three Russian regions to replace Microsoft-branded operating systems in Russian schools with Linux alternatives. All Russian schools are expected to make the software switch by 2009, according to Russian leaders.

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