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Vietnam’s Big Plans for Open Source’s Standards Blog points out, “Vietnam Starts New Year with Open Source (and ODF).”

Andy Updegrove analyzes this news in the context of the broader global movement toward open source in developing countries:

It’s hardly a surprise that Vietnam should make such an announcement. It has an increasingly sophisticated and growing IT industry, and like the governments of many other emerging nations, is interested in keeping IT budgets down while expanding IT services, as well as nurturing its own IT industry rather than shipping all of its IT budget dollars abroad. For nations throughout Asia and South America in particular, open source (and open standards compatible with open source) are becoming increasingly incorporated into enterprise infrastructure guidelines and procurement requirements.

The source article is published on VietNamNet as “Vietnam to Widely Use Open Source Software.”

The requirements are for government agencies, as part of an effort to modernize IT infrastructure and government operations while cutting unnecessary costs:

By June 30, 2009, 100% of clients of IT divisions of government agencies must be installed with open source software; 100% of staffs at these IT divisions must be trained in the use of these software products and at least 50% use them proficiently…

Open source software products are OpenOffice, email software for servers of Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Vietnamese typing software Unikey.

The instruction also said that by December 31, 2009, 70% of clients of ministries’ agencies and local state agencies must be installed with the above open source software products and 70% of IT staff trained in using this software; and at least 40% able to use the software in their work.

While the timeframe is aggressive compared to many government open source deployments, it should be easy enough for a motivated organization to achieve.

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