Probably the biggest hurdle preventing widespread Linux and open source adoption in Hong Kong is a lack of qualified support staff and services. 'There is a lack of quality technical support service providers in the market,' said Albert Chung, chief marketing evangelist at Sun Wah-Pearl Linux, a Linux training centre. Mr Chung said one in 10 students asked about such services. 'You can always go to IBM and Hewlett-Packard but their prices are out of reach for schools and SMEs.' He said there were two recognised certification programmes for Linux, one run by Red Hat, and the other by the vendor-neutral Linux Professional Institution. The pass rate for the two examinations in Hong Kong is about 50 to 60 per cent, about the worldwide average. 'But it is not just about passing the test. Afterwards, the students have to practise in real life to improve their skills,' he said. 'As the adoption of Linux in enterprises is not extensive, there is not the environment to train up advanced-level Linux administrators.' Chris Sharp, Microsoft's director of platform strategy for Asia Pacific and Greater China, worked at Red Hat Asia for three years before joining Microsoft. 'There are about 5,000 certified Microsoft professionals in Hong Kong but qualified Linux support persons will be fewer than several hundred,' he said.