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USA Today: Two on How Microsoft's Licensing Practices are Benefiting Open Source

May 13, 2002, 16:00 (30 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Byron Acohido)

Microsoft Pitches Schools New Licensing Option

"Sherri Bealkowski, general manager at Microsoft Education Solutions Group, says, 'We're trying to remind everybody that it's hard to stay compliant and to make them aware of the different options they have.' The audit notices sent to the 500 school districts is 'standard practice. We do it all the time,' she says.

"One option schools have: Call Eric Harrison at the Multnomah Educational Service District in Portland, Ore. Since 1997, Harrison has been developing networks based on the free Linux operating system. His latest project links 40 older PCs to a single set of software applications running on a central Linux server computer. The cost: $200 a seat vs. $1,500 a seat for PCs running Microsoft, he says..."

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Companies Cringe at Microsoft Licensing

"An April survey of 1,400 companies found 36% would not opt for the new program and 38% were looking for alternatives to Microsoft.

"A New Zealand law firm, Clendon Feeney, has filed a complaint with that nation's Commerce Commission accusing Microsoft of using the licensing change to lessen competition and calling for regulation of its activities in New Zealand.

"Research firm Gartner recently predicted StarOffice, which runs on the free Linux operating system, could grab 10% of the market dominated by Microsoft's Office--a potentially major hit to Microsoft's monopoly..."

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