Reboot, Comrade

Feb 23, 2007 (07:02 PM EST)

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"When you program open source, you're programming communism," says a fake propaganda poster floating around the Web satirizing Microsoft. Turns out, Cuban officials think the sentiment's true. The country announced last week it's heaving off the shackles of capitalism and replacing the Microsoft hegemon with Linux. Politics isn't unknown in tech decisions--remember how fears of Chinese spying almost scuttled the State Department's purchase of 15,000 Lenovo computers? Brazil, South Korea, and China are among the countries that have talked up big Linux rollouts. But most come up with reasons other than ideology--like lower cost and better security--to make do without Windows.