Russian based news organization Cnews is reporting that the Russia Post (Postal service) is testing Linux as their software platform for the future. Whether this is a cost control method or a strategic move has yet to be determined.

Some time ago the Russians also announced using Linux exclusively in their schools. That move though was most definitely aimed at cost control.

The move to Linux may be even more far reaching. I was talking with a Russian Émigré who keeps close tabs on the Russian IT industry, and he is of the belief that the entire government apparatus has plans to totally migrate to Linux by 2012. This must be making our friends in Redmond a little ticked off.

There is no word as to which Linux Distro is currently being used, but it is rumored that the head honcho of Red Hat has been spotted in the country and met with representatives of Russia Post. The Russian Post comprises of 40 000 post offices with 390 000 employees. This would be a pretty handsome client base to get.

The test being run is located in Pushkin, a St. Petersburg Suburb and is slated to run somewhere between two and three months.

Simon Barrett   

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