"As the Education Ministry enters into a $10 million
deal with Microsoft to supply software to the country's schools,
the open source movement is stepping up pressure on the government
to use free software.
Open source proponents have sent an open letter to ministers
Paul Swain, Pete Hodgson and Trevor Mallard, whose portfolios
relate to technology, urging government agencies to adopt the Linux
operating system. Signatories to the letter total more than 30
people, some who sell open source products and services and staff
from universities, design companies, energy companies and crown
The letter points out that the governments of France, Brazil,
Mexico and China are considering legislation which favours open
source software and says open source supporters would welcome the
opportunity to present the capabilities of open source software to
the government as well as their ability to support it."