Turkey is one of the champions of Free software with its own GNU/Linux based operating system Pardus. Using GNU/Linux and other open source technologies helps governments and agencies cut cost and maintain control over the quality of products, something proprietary technologies such as Microsoft Windows or Apple’s iOS can never give.
Oliver Altehage, Change Manager for LiMux-Project, told Anton Borisov, a Muktware author, “The cost cutting argument is not valid. It was and is a political strategic decision to get vendor independence, stand up for open standards and spend our money on local IT companies (6.5 Mio € during the last 4 Years). The project scope is defined to migrate 80% of PCs in the administration. This was defined at the project start and it was already foreseen that there will be constraints which do not show a benefit (technical and/or economical) after a migration to open source.”
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The governments and organizations understand the long-term benefits of using free software vs vendor lock of proprietary technologies.
Recently, Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan visited the USA to discuss FATIH Project. One of the goals of the trip was to explore the right tablet for 15 million students.
According to reports Microsoft is working with the department to sell Windows tablets.
Its a very good opportunity for Turkey to take a lead in the tablet segment by choosing open source Android.
Microsoft’s Windows tablets or Apple’s iPad will keep the students away from the access to the proprietary technologies. The organization will be locked into Apple or Microsoft. Apple’s case is dangerous as iTunes is the gateway to iPad and Apple will have access to everything Turkish students do. Microsoft’s case is weaker as the company has yet to prove how good its tablets are which are yet to hit the market.
Android seems to be the best bet on future for the FAITH project. Android will also help Turkey in creating a strong developer base which can boost the local economy by developing useful apps.
What will Turkey choose: to see its students become drivers to drive Microsoft/Apple trucks or to become truck manufacturer themselves?