The Register: Namibia Wisely Spurns M$ ‘Gift’ in Favor of Linux

“The African nation of Namibia is large in area and small in
population with considerable distances between communities. Imagine
the challenges of getting its schools wired to the Net. SchoolNet
Namibia, a chiefly volunteer organization, struggles to do
precisely that with a free ISP and numerous other initiatives to
get the nation’s schools, many of which lack any library resources
at all, on-line.

“Imagine the pleasure with which SchoolNet would initially have
confronted a charitable overture from Microsoft involving free
software. Now imagine the disappointment of learning that accepting
the ‘gift’ would entail outlays of money in the range of fifteen
times the value of the M$ Trojan horse.

“The idea was to obtain fifty inexpensive laptop computers from
Acer and for Redmond to donate some of its Great Software. It
appears that SchoolNet had at least briefly labored under the
illusion that the operating system software would be donated as
well, but this was not to be. The company was willing to donate
only free licensing for Office Pro, valued at $2,000, while
SchoolNet would have to lay out an extra $9,000 for OS licensing in
order to exploit the privilege of using the office software…”


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