Last May, South Korea had announced that all of its government computers would be switching from Windows to Linux following Window 7’s end-of-life. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft’s most popular Windows 7 operating system was officially declared dead.
With the end of technical support for Windows 7, starting end of this year, the South Korean government will be switching the computers used in its central government, local governments, and public institutions to Linux-based operating systems.
The operating systems planned by the government are Cloud OS, Harmonica OS, and TMAX OS, which are based on Linux. Currently, the country’s Ministry of Defense is already using Harmonica OS while the postal service is testing TMAX OS.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security is hoping most of its government entities to completely switch over to Linux-based operating systems by 2026. However, special cases in ministries and agencies that use Windows OS will be omitted from the process.
“Through the introduction of open OS, we will eliminate the dependencies of certain companies and reduce our budget,” said Choi Chang-hyuk, director of the Ministry of Electronic Affairs.
“And we will work closely with the relevant ministries to help the government demand for open OS become an opportunity for relevant domestic companies to participate in the market and invest in technology, helping to expand the private cloud market and create a new software ecosystem.”
In the coming months, the South Korean government plans to switch to Desktop as a Service (DaaS) that will use a virtual PC environment running on a private cloud using the internet by the second half of 2020. By the end of this year, the government also plans to remove ActiveX plugins.
With the introduction of DaaS, the South Korean ministry expects to save up to 72% of existing PC purchase costs and at least 70 billion won annually.
The ministry also plans to develop security standards and standard models for DaaS that can be applied to public agencies such as central departments. It will also start a DaaS pilot introduction and compatibility test this October.