Gates mobbed in visit to Vietnam

Hilarious report on BBC Online. Interesting (and significant) sting in the tail:

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and President Tran Duc Luong had earlier taken time away from the ruling Communist Party National Congress, the most important event on the political calendar, to meet Mr Gates.

Under an agreement signed Saturday, Vietnam’s Finance Ministry became the country’s first government office to use completely licensed Microsoft software.

A statement said the agreement “reaffirms the government’s commitment in copyright protection as the country integrates into the international community”, Reuters reports.

This is significant because it shows that Microsoft is making headway in stopping people pirating its software in the Far East. So the moment when that part of the world begins to realise the true costs of running proprietary software comes nearer. And I think that is good news for those of us who are working to provide a cheaper, more affordable and sustainable alternative.