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Government sticks to proprietary line: leaves Linux in the dust

Apr 09, 2009, 16:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dahna McConnachie)

[ Thanks to inkslinger for this link. ]

"When the NSW Department of Education and Training put out a tender for its $150 million 'netbooks for schools' contract, the opportunity for Linux to be used in the State's education system was looking quite possible. The tender specified that all proposed devices must be able to run either Windows or Linux and many of the vendors submitting proposals had been using Linux to some extent. The final decision to use Lenovo Laptops powered by Microsoft's operating system and running proprietary software was a blow to the open source community, and also a blow, say some people to education.

"ICT consultant Jeff Waugh thinks it was the Australian vendors that lacked courage to take Linux to the next level where their European counterparts might have done so. An IT manager for a Sydney-based school says he can understand why the department didn't go with Linux, even though he thinks it would be a better solution. People, he says, are afraid of change. He has tried rolling out Linux and open source in his school, as has a friend of his in another school, but people have been unwilling to make the change in both instances.

"Waugh said a tender like this has a very large impact on infrastructure and a large impact on future purchasing so it is a big blow for Linux and it's also a huge opportunity missed for the vendors, not to mention for education itself."

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