Only a day after Holland had confirmed its choice of OpenDocument format, Russia was confirmed to have done the same, or at least approached a similar policy.
The stated rationale for this legislation is that “open standards will contribute to an increased number of bidders for government contracts and will increase opportunities for Russian software developers… [and] the problem of interoperability will be addressed as will the ability to access information into the future.”
This does not surprise all that much because The Register dropped some clues almost a month ago.
The Russian Government has taken a step towards endorsing ODF through an e-government program that would mandate use of software that conforms to “widely used standards” in all government contracts.
According to the Russian Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications “within the project to form an e-government concept in the Russian Federation, support of ISO/IEC 26300: 2006 is planned.”
The move has been welcomed by the Open Document Format Alliance, which said in a statement that Russia is “sending a message worldwide that software should be affordable, innovative and accessible, now and for the foreseeable future.”
Meanwhile, all schools in a very large region of Russia are moving to GNU/Linux. This was reported by the press just a couple of days ago. It followed a successful pilot project.