States in the U.S. may seldom make the use of open source a requirement, but the same is not necessarily true in other countries -- especially developing markets. Case in point: Vietnam has mandated open source adoption within government agencies.
According to Ars Technica, the country's Ministry of Information and Communications hopes to have the migration to open source complete by the end of next year. Blogger Ryan Paul explains:
The first stage of the plan, which entails migrating all of the backend server infrastructure and training the IT personnel that manage it ... The next stage is the desktop rollout, which mandates adoption of OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and Thunderbird ... The government also called for hardware vendors to preinstall open source software instead of selling computers with cracked or pirated versions of Windows and other proprietary software.
Vietnam is not alone, as open source is growing in popularity in Asia. Several countries have migration plans in place, as well as procurement preferences for open source. However, Paul says, Vietnam's tight migration schedule may come back to haunt officials once implementation is under way. There's not much room in the schedule for the usual bumps and glitches users run into when making big technology changes.