I must admit that I am not that fond of the current Russian government. They more often talk about the use of free open source software than make any practical steps toward applying it. I even wrote several critical articles about this a few years ago.
Nevetherless, there are some distributions that are developed by Russian teams. Just to name a few that I reviewed: ROSA, Simply Linux, ALT Linux, Agilia Linux (now defunct).
Are they actually in use anywhere? I cannot answer this question as I have never witnessed that. But I have seen two examples of Linux use in different Russian organisations recently, and both cases are very close to the public funds. It means that Linux is something that Russian near-Government organisations actually use.
One of them is an information kiosk at a railway station running the Ubuntu operating system. Even if the system is evidently broken on this photo, you can clearly see that Ubuntu is installed on the machine.
The second case was in a medical organisation that I visited recently. Doctors' computers in that clinic were using GNOME 2 interface. I cannot tell you exactly the operating system and the version of it, because I was not able to touch the computer, but the GNOME 2 interface is far too familiar for Linux users to mix it up with something else. I can only say that the left-top corner of the screen was a menu button with a footprint on it.
In the mean time, I have yet to see a case of desktop Linux use in any public or corporate environment in the Unted Kingdom. Such a pity for one of the biggest economies in the world.
Let's now look at the same issue from a different angle.
Let's say I am a user who wants to have a new laptop with a free open source operating system on it. It means a laptop without Windows. How many chances do I have in the United Kingdom? There is no secret that PCWorld / Currys is the biggest chain of electrical shops in the UK. How many non-Windows laptops do they offer? I will tell you: NONE. Even Amazon UK lists only one Ubuntu laptop for sale: Dell Inspiron 5758. I don't count Chromebooks as Linux laptops, because they are different beasts.
The biggest electronics retailer in Russia is Ulmart (Юлмарт). It offers more than 50 laptops with Ubuntu or other Linux operating system. Another retailer Eldorado (Эльдорадо) also offers more than 40 Linux-based laptops for sale. They are from different manufacturers: Dell, Acer, Lenovo and so on. Come and buy, if you wish!
It is evident that British retailers are not interested in promoting open source software. Or is it a political order to promote only commercial operating systems?
What examples of Linux operating system use have you seen in your place? How easy is it to buy a Linux-powered computer where you live?