Cuba Embraces Open-Source Software: switches to Linux

HAVANA (AP) - Cuba's communist government is trying to shake off the yoke of at least one capitalist empire - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - by joining with socialist Venezuela in converting its computers to open-source software.

Both governments say they are trying to wean state agencies from Microsoft's proprietary Windows to the open-source Linux operating system, which is developed by a global community of programmers who freely share their code.

"It's basically a problem of technological sovereignty, a problem of ideology," said Hector Rodriguez, who oversees a Cuban university department of 1,000 students dedicated to developing open-source programs.

Other countries have tried similar moves. China, Brazil and Norway have encouraged the development of Linux for a variety of reasons: Microsoft's near-monopoly over operating systems, the high cost of proprietary software and security problems.

Cuban officials, ever focused on U.S. threats, also see it as a matter of national security. Read more..>>