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European Schoolnet: Free Your Mind... And Open Up to Open Source Computing

Jul 31, 2003, 18:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas Lindemans)

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"The obvious reason is that Linux is a free operating system. Whereas the price of other operating systems like Windows XP costs around 300 euros, several Linux distros can be downloaded from the Internet for free. The fact that Linux is free, in the sense of 'free beer', is what draws most people to it in the first place.

"Linux is also free in the sense of 'free speech'. It is the OS of choice for people who want to decide for themselves what to use and what to leave out. This is made possible by Linux's General Public License, commonly called the GPL. If you do not like any of the many browsers provided with your Linux distro, you can easily uninstall them and download another. By contrast, in a Windows environment, uninstalling Internet Explorer can lead to system instability or even complete failure of some programs. In other words, you have little choice but to use the packaged browser, e-mail client and other software.

"Linux is becoming increasingly popular among decision-makers such as school principals because more and more software is becoming available for Linux. In 2003, it is safe to say that there is a Linux equivalent for every major software package available on the Windows platform. For instance, Microsoft Office is easily replaced by All your email needs can be met by K-mail or MozillaMail rather than Outlook or Outlook Express..."

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