09/15/07 - Cubanow (Havana) - Cuba is preparing to quit Windows and avoid Microsoft
By Pedro Falcón
It’s a measure aimed at breaking the dependence on programs that are under the control of US owners and also anticipating any claims by the patent’s owners for the use of this system in Cuba. Cuban authorities are seriously preparing to quit the Windows operating system and use the GNU/Linux free software instead, thus avoiding any sanctions for using this computer system by the Windows´ owner, the giant Microsoft Corporation.
More than 3 800 technicians have been already trained in the country, and Ciego de Ávila, located in the mid eastern part of the Island, is a good example of this. In that province, there are around 600 people taking intensive 4-month courses to learn about the use of Linux and replace the Windows operation system.
It’s a measure aimed at breaking the dependence on programs that are under the control of US owners and also anticipating any claims by the patent’s owners for the use of this system in Cuba, which cannot be paid because of the US commercial embargo, among other reasons. That is why the Cuban authorities have decided to train their specialists by delivering the Linux and the Computer Operator for Linux courses that started at the end of 2005.
Last Sunday, September 9th, the country celebrated the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the so-called Computer Club for the Young; and idea that was promoted by the Cuban president Fidel Castro. On Saturday, the Cuban leader sent a message of congratulation to this IT organization, which has thousands of members across the country, as well as state-of-the-art equipment and professors that teach about the different digital techniques.
Linux came out as a free alternative to the Windows program created by the Bill Gates´ company, and it provides users with the freedom to access its source codes and to modify them, thus enhancing the privacy of information. And it’s all totally free of charge. The software was created in 1991 by a Finnish student called Linus Torvalds. Among other advantages, it allows compatibility ¨with the equipment we have in the country and its immunity to the majority of the computer viruses¨, says the newspaper.