The Cuba government has launched a new operating system for the Cuban people. A variant of Linux, the new system is called Nova, and it is hoped that 50% of Cuban computers will be running the new OS in about 5 years. The purpose of using Linux is to have non-Microsoft machines running since the Cubans fear the US government may have access to the Microsoft code.

According to this news article it states that:

The government views the use of Microsoft systems, developed by U.S.-based Microsoft Corp, as a potential threat because it says U.S. security agencies have access to Microsoft codes.

Also, the long-standing U.S. trade embargo against the island makes it difficult for Cubans to get Microsoft software legally and to update it.

“Getting greater control over the informatic process is an important issue,” said Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes, who heads a commission pushing Cuba’s migration to free software.

Cuba, which is 90 miles from Florida, has been resisting U.S. domination in one form or another since Fidel Castro took over Cuba in a 1959 revolution.

Younger brother Raul Castro replaced the ailing 82-year-old leader last year, but the U.S.-Cuba conflict goes on, now in the world of software.

According to Hector Rodriguez, dean of the School of Free Software at Cuba’s University of Information Sciences, about 20 percent of computers in Cuba, where computer sales to the public began only last year, are currently using Linux.

Nova is Cuba’s own configuration of Linux and bundles various applications of the operating system.

Rodriguez said several government ministries and the Cuban university system have made the switch to Linux but there has been resistance from government companies concerned about its compatibility with their specialized applications.

So there you have it. Cuba is just of many countries in the world who have opted out of the Microsoft strangle hold and have gone to Linux.

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Source.