One fifth of Japanese businesses using open source OS

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The use of open-source operating systems in enterprise servers is growing in Japan, with companies citing low introduction costs as the main factor for adoption, according to a recent report by the Japanese government.

So far, 21 percent of Japanese companies have already introduced open-source operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD systems, while 22 percent either have plans to deploy, or are considering plans to deploy, an open-source operating system, according to an annual white paper released by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

By contrast, 33 percent of U.S. companies have adopted open-source operating systems in at least some of their servers, MIC said.

Among the companies polled by the MIC, 66 percent said open-source operating systems have low initial costs, while 47.8 percent said the software has low operating costs

Of those companies that have so far adopted open-source operating systems, major uses for these servers include Web, mail, and file servers. Open-source operating systems are used with much less frequency in applications for financial, payment, distribution and customer service applications, the report said.

While many Japanese companies are planning to use open-source operating systems, 22 percent of companies said they were interested in, but not considering introducing open-source operating systems, while 20 percent said they were not going to adopt open source, the report said.

The MIC white paper did not provide data on the number of companies that responded to the ministry's survey, which was conducted on the Web.

By Paul Kallender
IDG News Service