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In purely economic terms this makes sense for Korea in two ways:
1 The distribution company is Korean based, which will keep the government's capital within the country
2 The Linux distribution only costs 23% of the equivalent order from MS.
The company the Korean government has the contract with is Hancom Linux. They developed a Korean language and microsoft compatible office suit, HancomOffice which is a light (only 5 megs when loaded).
This is really a major breakthrough for the open source movement, though I am sure it won't be the last because it just makes fiscal sense.
The press relies:
For reasons of national security and national pride, government officials in countries like China, France and Germany are increasingly adopting the free, open-source computer operating system known as Linux.
I'd imagine that China joining the WTO will actually push businesses to adapt open source solutions in the near future. Some of my friends who have been to China in the last couple of years say that pirated software is rampant on the streets right now. China will soon have a lot more pressure to crack down on copyright enforcement.
When that happens there will be a rush to open source as struggling Chinese businesses look to be legal and have a low software overhead.
Despite the power of the Chinese government, mass "people" sentiment has historically forced them to change. (think about it!)
It makes sense with Korea. They have always been suspicious of corporate America and American brands, many times to the extent of having to rebrand American products extensively to be accepted.