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Largest Asian Linux Rollout Ever: 140,000-Plus PCs Deploying to Chinese Schools

Oct 04, 2005, 16:30 (5 Talkback[s])

Nearly 150,000 Linux PCs will be rolled out to students in the Jaingsu province, according to an announcement from Chinese distribution company Sun Wah Linux.

Six PC manufacturers have won contracts to provide 141,624 PCs to the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education as part of an educational program entitled School-to-School Project. Each machine will be loaded with Sun Wah Linux's Debian-based distro Rays LX.

Sun Wah executives are calling this the largest Linux desktop roll-out in Asia, and are hailing this roll-out as a further sign that moving towards a national version of the Linux operating system will save millions of dollars and foster more Chinese software development. And, it seems, it doesn't hurt that the move keeps a certain software company out of the process as well.

"This project marks the cooperative effort of Sun Wah Linux and the government's use of Linux to fight against Microsoft's monopoly in China," said Alex Banh, CEO, Sun Wah Linux.

The School-to-School Project will supply the Linux PCs to elementary and secondary schools in the poorer areas of nine cities in the southeastern Chinese province.

A total of fifteen companies competed for PC procurement deal, estimated to be worth a total of RMB 346.2 million [US$42.7 million]. The six PC manufacturers beat out Dell, Hewlett Packard, and Lenovo for the contract.

"This is the first time a procurement project for education is at such a large scale and we believe this application will set a good example for other School-to-School projects around the country," said Ju Zongqi, project leader of the Jiangsu School-to-School Project.

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