Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin recently announced a five-year plan to completely transition Russia to Linux and Open Source. Starting this year and completing in 2015, all Russian institutions must convert from Windows to a Russian version of Linux.

There appear to be several possible reasons for this transition, but the primary impetus is likely to be simply the reduced costs associated with Linux, as it is with many other countries and many commercial institutions as well. Another might be the possibility Microsoft may have included, at the behest of the American government, spy software and back doors that would allow American espionage agencies free and easy access to Russian computers.

Nevertheless, transitioning an entire government, especially one as large as Russia, is a tremendous undertaking and one not to be undertaken lightly. The Russians have made noises about this before but this looks to be a major push by Putin to make sure that it happens.

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