MANILA, 9 JULY 2008 - Reception toward open source technology has been very positive across Asia, the top executive of a Philippine-based global software and engineering services company said.
Consumer perception and preference for open source products such as the Apache Web Server, Linux Operating System, PHP, Apache Tomcat, and Eclipse IDE, have been on an upswing, said Exist executive chairman Winston Damarillo during the recent Philippine Open Source Summit (POSS) in Cebu.
The regional trend follows accelerated deployment of open source technology worldwide, with almost half of all websites in the world, approximately 49.12%, running on Apache Web Server, Damarillo added.
"As a result of the efforts of open source advocates to increase understanding of open source technology and its benefits, we project that open source will become a pervasive fixture of business, if not in everyday life, over the next two to three years," Damarillo explained.
In the Asia Pacific region, adoption rates of open source technology have rapidly increased over the past decade, Damarillo said. National governments in Asia and small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the region are increasingly turning to these solutions. Government initiatives in South Korea, New Zealand, and China have relied on open source software for major national computerization projects.
The South Korean government bought 120,000 copies of Hancom Linux Deluxe as early as 2002 in an effort to switch approximately 23% of its Microsoft-based desktops to open source. New Zealand, on the other hand, signed a deal with Novell in 2005 to provide open source software access to all of its government agencies. Specifically, the agreement centers on the deployment of Novell's SUSE Linux server and Linux Desktop in addition to open source products such as MySQL and JBoss.
In China, Atos Origin was tapped to deploy its Java-based Games Management System (GMS) application, which features several open source components including the Apache Tomcat Web server and JBoss application server, for this year's Beijing Olympic Games. Deployment of GMS is part of an initiative of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) to promote the theme: "High-tech Olympics."
"Government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and SMEs are increasingly embracing open source because they operate on very tight budgets," explained Damarillo, who concurrently serves as Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) chairman for international marketing. "Choosing to go open source lowers IT costs. There is no viable reason why these organizations should even think of purchasing traditional software licenses given their resource constraints."
In the Philippines, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), the agency in-charge of the promotion, development, and regulation of integrated and strategic ICT systems, has been pushing for the awareness on the adoption of open source operating systems and desktop productivity applications as part of its vision of an electronically enabled 'ePhilippines.'
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