As China prepares to become a full member of the World Trade Organization, the Beijing government is trying to prove to the West that it is serious about reducing software piracy. And so China’s government agencies and businesses are turning to Linux as their desktop operating system of choice, a trend with potential to influence how the world uses the open-source software.
Recently Linux has become increasingly popular as a server operating system but has been slower to catch on at the desktop due to the difficulties IT departments have finding or developing enterprise-quality Linux desktop applications. According to Gartner, only about 1 percent of companies in the United States and Europe currently use Linux on the desktop, and only 3.2 percent are expected to by 2008.
(Wendy Yu and Sumner Lemon contributed to this report.)