Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Monday, September 10, 2007

Open Source Gets Himalayan High

It is a rare day when I can mention open source and Bhutan in the same sentence. The beautiful, tiny, mountain kingdom is far from a hotbed of technology innovation. Or is it?

Bhutan represents a great example of the power of open source. Too small to get its language supported in Microsoft products, open source allows Bhutan to help itself. The result ...

Dzongkha Linux (Pronounced like "Zonka"). Its release by the country's Department of Information and Technology demonstrates what open source--and only $80,000--can do.

Developed in 13 months, Dzongkha Linux is bootable on both Mac and Windows systems It is also bilingual, supporting both English and the Dzongkha language for word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint, web browsing, even chat. And Bhutan is not done yet. Next they plan to develop local language based, speech recognition and text-to-speech functionality.

All that innovation for an $80,000 investment. Now that is a major return on investment, courtesy of open source.

Categories: Bhutan, opensource

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