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Russia to Invest 150 Million Ruble, Creating ‘Windows Rival’

The Russian state plans to revamp its computer services with a Windows rival to reduce its dependence on US giant Microsoft and better monitor computer security, a lawmaker said Wednesday. Moscow will earmark 150 million rubles (3.5 million euros, 4.9 million dollars) to develop a national software system based on Linux operating system, Russian deputy Ilia Ponomarev told AFP, confirming an earlier report in the Vedomosti daily.

“The devil is in the details,” said Ponomarev, a computer expert, adding those details would be hashed out during a Dec meeting headed by vice-prime minister Sergei Ivanov.

“We’ll become independent of Windows … but it risks becoming an unthinking implantation of Linux,” he added.

Similar concerns about achieving technological independence prompted the Russian military to create GLONASS satellite navigation system in the 1980s, to compete with US Global Positioning System (GPS) and competition in the future from Europe’s Galileo.


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