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KDE Desktops For 52 Million Students In Brazil

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the early-introduction-to-the-penguin dept.

Education 201

An anonymous reader writes "Mauricio Piacentini writes about a deployment of systems running Linux and KDE in Brazil's schools; some 52 million students are to be served by this initiative. 'What is interesting about this project is that it not only provides infrastructure (computers and net connectivity) but also open content to students in public schools. The software installed on these systems is "Linux Educacional 2.0," a very clean Debian-based distribution, with KDE 3.5, KDE-Edu, KDE-Games, and some tools developed by the project.' The distro comes in Portuguese only at this time." quarterbuck notes that Linux is making other inroads in the BRIC economies (Brazil-Russia-India-China): India and China are getting a custom-designed Ubuntu laptop from Dell, and Russia is making their own Ubuntu laptop this year.

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Poor Brazilians. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197508)

My condolences to the children of Brazil for their suffering.

Re:Poor Brazilians. (4, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197576)

Don't worry it'll soon be over. They're switching away from Windows.

Re:Poor Brazilians. (4, Interesting)

phpmysqldev (1224624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197728)

This summary is a little misleading. According to TFA there will be about 55k labs serving 50mil students. (and i thought labs were crowded at college)
This is definitely a step in the right direction for a developing country, but it doesn't seem to have the large scale plans of say the XO laptop program [wikipedia.org] .
At least its Linux though...wonder if theyll be getting hardy heron anytime soon?

wrong headline, wishful thinking (0, Troll)

n1_111 (597775) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197546)

"As this first slide shows, until the end of this year there will be already 29,000 labs deployed, serving approximately 36 million students. "

36 is not 52.

Also, what else can they run on the "low power multi terminal solutions" but stripped down, minimalistic linux distro. yawn.

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (4, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197590)

They could run a non-stripped down full featured distro. Just keep compiz off.

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197800)

Um. Compiz? You've got to be kidding.

The standard Ubuntu desktop requires 256 MB RAM and ~4 GB of disk space.

Maybe those requirements look ultra-minimal compared to Vista, but it's not exactly what I have in mind when I think of a "low power multi terminal solution".

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198576)

They're ultra-minimal compared to XP, too. I have to have an 8GB virtual disk if I want to do anything other than install WindowsXP with Office, and even then it's pretty tight.

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (1)

cloakable (885764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198900)

And there is a reason I call Ubuntu Ubloatu.

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197694)

say what you will, but remember, while these children are not getting the best of linux, they are getting linux experience. Using , linux I've made more friendships and awesome contacts than I ever thought possible. I've had people let me into their homes, knowing very little about me, besides the fact that I was going to help them uninstall microsoft. They knew nothing of linux. Many times linux gave me strange problems with hardware issues. By having them sit with me while I checked the community for help, they saw what I saw: Computer users coming together as a community. This feeling that we shared is now available for 36 million school aged children? No matter what anyone says of the distro, the number of children, or anything else, these children are now given access to the one educational precept that will guide them for the rest of their lives. Each one teach one. The community will only spread with these types of initiatives. Someday, you may see them posting on slashdot, praising that initial step as the reason they went on to higher education. You may see them on IRC, helping one of our own. You may yawn, and this is ill advised. You see, when initiatives such as this arrise, it is up to all of us to collectively stand, and applaud.

Re:wrong headline, wishful thinking (2)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199274)

Wow! Why is this modded "Flamebait"?

This is how I've felt about Linux for a good little while now. I feel part of a community. I've been using Linux near full-time (on my personal machines - at work I don't usually have the choice...) since '98 or '99. I honestly forget when I made my first Linux-Only machine (not dual-boot, not "testing").

In the 20-ish or so years I was using Microsoft's Operating Systems (DOS 2 or so through XP) I'd never once felt like I was part of a "community". At least no more part of a community than a bunch of strangers that happen to shop at the same supermarket can be considered a "community", anyway.



P.S.
During the 3.1x --> '95 years, I was clinging onto my install of Warp! 3 as tightly as possible, but I had to give in to 95; nothing (a user would use) was being developed. :-( I rather liked Warp... well, after I upgraded my system at the time to 8M RAM...

KDE for 52 Million Brazilians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197574)

that's 52 million disappointed kids. Wow, how depressing.

Excellent! (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197586)

From a selfish perspective, this is great. So long as Linux gains significant adoption somewhere in the world, we will get better hardware support. Much as I like linux, drivers are the main problem.

Re:Excellent! (4, Interesting)

daliman (626662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197764)

Do you really have such a problem with hardware support?

I only buy hardware with Linux support. The companies I have worked for, when they have decided on Linux, ensure that the hardware they buy will work with the OS they have selected.

Hardware support has not been a large problem for me. Drivers are not a huge problem.

Building a new PC vs. switching (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198066)

I only buy hardware with Linux support

That's good if you're building a new computer. I think timeOday's problem is that (s)he is trying to switch an existing computer from Windows to Linux or from Windows to dual-boot Windows/Linux. In that case, you have to choose software that works with what you have unless you want to have to replace 10 to 50 percent of your hardware.

For those building a new computer, such as the situation of the article, do you recommend particular brands of Linux-compatible desktop or laptop PC hardware?

Re:Building a new PC vs. switching (3, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198144)

I've had really good luck with intel brand motherboards. Other than futzing about with an eithernet driver on a 7.x version of ubuntu (works in most recent version), intel has pretty good driver support, and the boards exceedingly rarely fail. Price/features are competitive with other name brand boards like Asus.

Re:Building a new PC vs. switching (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198750)

I think the big thing here in driver support is going to be for things like printers. PRINTER SUPPORT PLEASE!
I'll assume the schools will go with HP carefully selected printers, because they're really the best supported printers out there, but they can still use a bit of work. Last I looked you were lucky if the software could tell you how much ink was left and a lot of the lower end networked printers weren't reported as working at all in Linux. I'd just like a $200-$300 laser printer on the network, from the printer compatibility lists I've found there isn't one.

Re:Building a new PC vs. switching (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198782)

"...networked printers weren't reported as working on the network at all in Linux"

Re:Building a new PC vs. switching (2, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198940)

Last time I checked Laserjet IIs have been supported since linux's conception. They go for less than $100 and often have the eithernet adapter added already. That printer will probably outlive your children. Dropped mine from 5' up on it's corner onto concrete and still runs like a champ.

Re:Building a new PC vs. switching (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199326)

I've been buying hardware that I know to work under Linux for quite a while. All of the computers I currently use follow that philosophy, and the other ones are so old that they've been supported for ages. Voodoo3, anyone? As far as current hardware goes:

  • Try ASUS's motherboards. Heck, almost anything with an nForce, Intel, or VIA chipset in it will take care of most of the hardware issues (hardware sensors, SATA, IDE, wired Ethernet, and so on).
  • For graphics cards, nVidia still provides the best drivers, and those same drivers also work with their integrated chipsets (nForce). Intel's chipsets are well-supported, but I usually avoid them in favor of nVidia.
  • Wireless cards (as someone else posted) are one of the worst-supported pieces of hardware under Linux, especially if you rule out NDISWrapper. The Intel wireless chips should all work, and Atheros's should (The Atheros chip in my laptop can't connect to WPA at all).
  • I still find my old SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 to be the best sound card for Linux. The X-Fi needs driver support for it to be any good (Using OSS4 is the only option for one of my computers; Creative's ALSA driver is worthless).

Re:Excellent! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198822)

There are still a few issues with hardware support in Linux. The biggest problem with is with wireless cards. There's also quite a few video cards that lose a lot of features or speed when you move to Linux. And then there's software modems. Most other stuff seems to be fine, with some support even being better than Windows. But it's hard to deny that there is quite a bit of hardware that doesn't work under Linux. You can find stuff that works, and it isn't that hard. But it's not like you can go to the store, pick up a new piece of hardware, and know whether it will work or not, without doing your research.

Re:Excellent! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197768)

I just hope people can understand that drivers aren't magically the fault of Linux. At least no more than drivers are the fault of Microsoft.

Re:Excellent! (5, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197848)

If the numbers in TFA are true (36 million students, growing to 52 million by the end of 2009), then this is absolutely huge in terms of Linux install base. In fact, I think this project would approximately double the install base.

I know that "counting" the number of Linux installs is essentially impossible, but here are some random numbers I've accumulated that point to the approximate size of the Linux user base:
1. The Linux Counter [li.org] estimated 29 million installs in 2005. This estimate involved numerous assumptions, such as extrapolating from 8 million installs reported by Red Hat in 1998.
2. According to [zdnet.co.uk] an IDC study, the Linux marketshare for PCs was ~3% in 2003.
3. There are about 1 billion Internet users [internetworldstats.com] . Browser logs indicate that Linux accounts for ~0.8% to ~3.9% of web traffic [wikipedia.org] . This gives us an estimate of 8 million to 39 million Linux users. (The upper estimate is undoubtedly an over-estimate since the value comes from W3Schools [w3schools.com] , which probably has a greater fraction of 'technical' users.)
4. According to Canonical's server logs from OS updates, there are approximately 6 million active users of Ubuntu (see here [linux.com] and here [sys-con.com] ). Assuming that Ubuntu represents 30% of Linux usage (based on this [desktoplinux.com] ), you can come up with an estimate of 20 million Linux users.
5. According to Fedora's logs for OS updates [fedoraproject.org] , there are approximately 2.8 million installations of Fedora Core 6, and 1.6 million of Fedora 7. Assuming Fedora represents 9% of Linux installs (again, based on this [desktoplinux.com] ), you can estimate 48 million Linux users.

Obviously all of these methods have their own problems. I'm not claiming that any of these estimates are robust. However they do at least suggest a range for the number of Linux users (~20 million) and the marketshare of Linux (~1% to 2%).

So, this single project, it would seem, is drastically increasing (doubling?) Linux usage. This is huge, in my opinion, because a generation of students who have learned Linux will be far more likely to use and improve upon FLOSS when they enter the job market.

Re:Excellent! (4, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198008)

Actually, it's only around 825 000 installs (55 000 labs * 15 "access points" per lab) serving several tens of millions of students. It's still a lot, but not as huge as one install per student.

Re:Excellent! (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198638)

install # isn't relevant, the number of people using it is.

Re:Excellent! (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198872)

Fair enough, but I was responding to the original poster's numbers, which seemed to refer specifically to installs.

Re:Excellent! (2, Informative)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198296)

There is a huge take up of linux in schools now. I heard about some very large install base but forgot where. Heck, there are even doing it here in Melbourne, Australia: http://freesoftnews.com/archives/7184 [freesoftnews.com] (13th April, 2008)! Problem with those estimates is they they extrapolate linearly. I think the growth is exponentially increasing -- especially with this hunk of rubbish called vista.

Re:Excellent! (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198324)

Frankly trying to count the number of people who use a free os kinda disturbs me - of course business people who make $$$ off each unit license sale are very interested, and maybe people just like to know these things. But it's like some tyrant used to charge people for cannisters of oxygen, then someday someone finds out that it's ok to breath air. Who cares how many people breath air? The point is they are no longer enslaved to a tyrant demanding tribute.

Re:Excellent! (2, Interesting)

deragon (112986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197892)

Drivers are not the only issue. Linux support on the web is important. The more Linux users, the more websites that are IE/Windows only centric will switch to become OS independent. The more Linux users, the more software will be written for it and better the interoperability will be.

Re:Excellent! (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198012)

What are you talking about? I primarily use Ubuntu and I have hardly ever come across a site that demands Windows.

Re:Excellent! (0, Offtopic)

deragon (112986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198164)

I have a hard time in Montreal (Canada) to find a photo service that provides an easy to use interface to upload picture. Many fall back to a basic service where you have to pick and select each picture one by one. Tedious when you have >60 pictures to upload. Kodak does this to Linux users. Windows and Mac users have a nice application to upload pictures in bulk.

I read that many Financial institutions in the US do not support Linux on there websites.

I believe, but I am not sure, that Hotmail extended features do not work on Linux. I think I read about it, but I am not sure. I invite anybody to confirm or invalidate my statement here.

And if Yahoo gets bought by Microsoft... :/

And here is an example of a site not Linux friendly:

http://www.pcoutlet.com/pcoutlet/servlet/WBServlet?webfunctionid=web.login&action=login&functionid=login [pcoutlet.com]

try to browse around...

Re:Excellent! (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198266)

It works with Opera but being crapped up on the other two browsers I tried would still cause me to pass on that vendor.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Kimos (859729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198382)

And here is an example of a site not Linux friendly: http://www.pcoutlet.com/pcoutlet/servlet/WBServlet?webfunctionid=web.login&action=login&functionid=login [pcoutlet.com] try to browse around...
There's a difference between Linux friendly, and cross browser. That website was clearly written by monkeys since it only works in IE and uses scripting to implement links for whatever rediculous reason.

There are some websites that I still find will not work in a non-IE browser. I guess the difference is that if you're running Windows you can fall back on IE, but on Mac/Linux you don't have that option. You can try ie4linux [tatanka.com.br] or ie4osx [kronenberg.org] but even that is hit and miss...

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198550)

I have a hard time in Montreal (Canada) to find a photo service that provides an easy to use interface to upload picture. Many fall back to a basic service where you have to pick and select each picture one by one. Tedious when you have >60 pictures to upload. Kodak does this to Linux users. Windows and Mac users have a nice application to upload pictures in bulk.

I read that many Financial institutions in the US do not support Linux on there websites.

I believe, but I am not sure, that Hotmail extended features do not work on Linux. I think I read about it, but I am not sure. I invite anybody to confirm or invalidate my statement here.

And if Yahoo gets bought by Microsoft... :/

And here is an example of a site not Linux friendly:

http://www.pcoutlet.com/pcoutlet/servlet/WBServlet?webfunctionid=web.login&action=login&functionid=login [pcoutlet.com]

try to browse around...
Greetings from TO buddy.
The problem with this site is that it is not browser friendly because it is poorly written.
If you are using Konqueror you can use the "Change Browser Identification" feature to report your browser to the page as IE and then you will be able to navigate the site.
That feature works with most sites that don't respect standards or are very IE-centric.
You may have to try a couple of Identification flavours before you get one that works but at least you can rely on using just one browser (and Konqueror will remember that for the next time you need to go back to the crappy site.)

Re:Excellent! (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198946)

I read that many Financial institutions in the US do not support Linux on there websites.
This was once more true than it is now. I currently have accounts with about a half-dozen different US financial institutions, and all none of them refuse to work with Linux/Firefox these days. I think a big part of that is just the number of Windows Firefox users there are out there. They can't afford to have the site NOT work on Firefox, and if it works there then it works on Linux, Mac OS X, and virutally every other OS out there.

Re:Excellent! (0, Offtopic)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198574)

Most sites in Korea are designed specifically for IE on Windows. There's no internet banking without it.

A major win for Open Source (4, Interesting)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197600)

This is very important.

Back when I were in school, we had no other choice than to use Windows. Even back then, I realized the clever tactic of Microsoft - if everyone is taught to use Windows the have plenty of market.
But Microsoft is just too greedy, instead of giving the software away to educators, which, in the en would result in bigger market share, insist on licensing and charging everyone - which in turn makes initiatives like these worthwhile.

The only marketing methods I've been exposed to as admin for a bunch of libraries, is the scare and bribery methods they used on a country-wide level, which resulted in M$ centric solutions being shoved down our throats.

The director of the libraries I've working on, has been told that installing Linux will result in BSA audit. We did, nothing happened, obviously, but all the other libraries are still using Windows servers.

And paying for that, instead of buying books or journals.

This has happened in EU approx 3 years ago.

Re:A major win for Open Source (3, Interesting)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197884)

Back when I were in school, we had no other choice than to use Windows. Even back then, I realized the clever tactic of Microsoft - if everyone is taught to use Windows the have plenty of market.

But Microsoft is just too greedy, instead of giving the software away to educators, which, in the en would result in bigger market share, insist on licensing and charging everyone - which in turn makes initiatives like these worthwhile.


Early on in the US, Apple was donating systems to schools in order accomplish the same thing. But by the time MS got involved, they already got a foothold on business. Most people wanted a computer that was compatible with the type they used at work. MS gave some licenses away, but just like a crack dealer they just gave them enough to replace Apples with PCs. The next hit you pay for. Then it became the defacto OS and so the school hierarchy thought--no sense teaching children the Apple when business are all using Windows....

The director of the libraries I've working on, has been told that installing Linux will result in BSA audit. We did, nothing happened, obviously, but all the other libraries are still using Windows servers.

Yes, I'm sure the MS rep told him that!

Re:A major win for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198102)

Where I live Macs are stilll used in lower education -- I grew up with these systems, and at the time, they were terrible -- not because of the hardware, but the software on the iMacs was pitiful (not Apple software, but what the school administrators approved). By the time I got to high school, the Windows PCs we then had access to seemed liek a breath of fresh air, especially since you at least had more acess to the system, adn were running something close to that which you had at home.

To this day I still stay away from Macs because of my experiences back then. I've used OSX and found it to be a good operating system, but my workflow in Windows is much more efficient (for me personally). Linux is most likely my eventual replacement, but as of now there are still a couple of things (ie. fonts), which I prefer in Windows.

Re:A major win for Open Source (0, Flamebait)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198842)

These comments demonstrate a huge flaw in education systems. They shouldn't teach children how to use Windows, MacOS, or even KDE. What they should be doing is teach them how to use operating systems, office suites, and generic user interfaces. The best platform to do that may indeed be KDE/GNU/Linux, but that should be a side issue.

How many people do you know who try to memorize menu locations for every single application they use instead of just automatically "understanding" where a good programmer would have put them? Hell, I know people who have to be retaught copy/paste for every new application. No wonder they're stuck in their ways and are afraid of change.

Unless you are teaching your students kernel architecture, you shouldn't delude yourself into thinking you're teaching them anything that is specific to Linux. The current state of basic computer education is comparable to a math curriculum in which children are taught how to count apples without explaining that you can apply the same knowledge to oranges.

And who says it should stop at at such a basic level? Regular expressions and the command line should at the very least be required high school topics. If you think I'm sounding insane, think about the difficulty level of high school math and physics. The computer is a tool everyone uses every day, and no sane person is even suggesting that math should be dumbed down. There is a huge gap between computer enthusiasts and the average person, because the schools have inexplicably picked one field to not challenge students in at all.

What if only math nerds understood geometry?

Re:A major win for Open Source (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199368)

Ummm...your naivity is amazing...

As a computer teacher of many years, who managed to teach his students with a linux lab for 5 years, until an ignorant, computer-illiterate, easily FUDified principal came into the school, and demanded that linux be wiped out and ONLY windows would be taught, etc., I can assure you that M$ is doing everything it can, including things such as kickbacks, special 'educational' trips to various places and conferences, paid by M$, 'free' software to those who make computer/software decisions/purchases, in schools, FUD, etc.

The destruction of education in North American schools continues, due mainly to FUD by M$, corruption of schools by M$, etc. If you had the vaguest idea of what goes on in schools nowadays by M$, to keep linux out of schools, you'd be asking for the heads of most schools, administrators, politicians, etc.

It's the same old story...follow the money...how much money is your school board paying(wasting?) to M$ for "Software Assurance", etc.? And if the school's computers blue screen, etc.? Well, too bad, re-image, pay $200 per call to be told: "reimage the machine", etc. It's appalling the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars that are going from schools, hospitals, etc. to M$

Demand accountability from officials (and educate them as well, if possible, although I have found most to be hopeless PHB types...but at least I tried (and keep trying)).

Re:A major win for Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198130)

Windows hating, right. My school was all mac and your going to tell me Microsoft had something to do with that too.

Re:A major win for Open Source (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198202)

When I was in school we had two computer labs, an IBM one which ran DOS and WordPerfect (the DOS version where you couldn't see your text styles and had to hide/unhide control codes to let you imagine how they would print) and a Macintosh lab - the original Macs. The Macs bitmapped display in glorious black and white was King compared to DOS and I spent many hours after school playing Netrek on them (a NETWORK, AMAZING!!!) against similar souls. This was circa 1989. Of course my Amiga 500 at home kicked butt on both of them but alas no network for multiplayer.

Re:A major win for Open Source (2, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198322)

The director of the libraries I've working on, has been told that installing Linux will result in BSA audit. We did, nothing happened, obviously, but all the other libraries are still using Windows servers.



The thing to do there is to start dealing with Red Hat and then when that threat is made, passing it on to Red Hat. If you doubt they'll get anywhere with antitrust then I still doubt Novell would take kindly to MS pissing in their Wheaties that way and would be happy to create more European antitrust trouble for them.

You also tell whoever threatened you with the audit not to EVER approach you with that again and that they are to bring it straight to your attorney. Like any bully, they tend to blink when stood up to.

Re:A major win for Open Source (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198408)

The director of the libraries I've working on, has been told that installing Linux will result in BSA audit. We did, nothing happened, obviously, but all the other libraries are still using Windows servers.
And if they did switch to Linux they would not fear the BSA. Only people who use Windows have to fear the BSA and the byzantine maze of license issues.
 

Re:A major win for Open Source (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199126)

This is commercial software for Linux. Just because your OS is open source free as in beer doesn't mean that you can't get high end commercial software.

If this was not Linux or F/OSS (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197616)

These press releases would also state how many millions of dollars these contracts are worth to the company supplying the products.

What is even better about this is that not only is there no dollar value in the story to make it worth hearing, but millions and millions of people will be using F/OSS software rather than beginning a life of paying for the privilege of 'using' software.

So the story is about success and growth rather than money and contracts. A positive story. Sure, it's good for Dell monetarily, and Ubuntu too but it's not all about money, profit, and contracts. Just reading it make me feel the world is a bit more free.

(cynicism on) How long before we see stories about MS doing deals to counteract these successes? (cynicism off)

Re:If this was not Linux or F/OSS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197886)

How long before we see stories about MS doing deals to counteract these successes?
It is in Brazil, not America, or a 2 bit dictator. Zero chance of back door deal. About the only WAY that it would happen is if MS offered to buy all the hardware as well. If MS does that, well, they are going to have a DIFFICULT time selling into other places because EVERYBODY will insist on the same deal.

Re:If this was not Linux or F/OSS (2, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198522)

What Microsoft has done in the past is offer to pay for the cost of "upgrading" to Windows. This covered not only the license cost, but also the cost of manual labor, which was always billed at well above the going rate for the location. Basically they say: "If you want to switch your computers to Windows, we'll give you a free license plus give you $100 per PC to cover the cost of labor to install it.", when the labor costs about $1 per PC. Who can pass up such a deal?

Re:If this was not Linux or F/OSS (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198020)

So the story is about success and growth rather than money and contracts. A positive story. Sure, it's good for Dell monetarily, and Ubuntu too but it's not all about money, profit, and contracts. Just reading it make me feel the world is a bit more free.
From a security standpoint, is replacing one mono-culture with another really that great of a "win"?

All it takes is 1 unreleased or 0-day exploit and you have 53,000 labs (each with a server and multiple desktops) waiting to join a botnet.

Linux is more secure than Windows on the desktop, but they both still get regularly exploited.

Re:If this was not Linux or F/OSS (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198338)

While I agree with you on the point of both being exploited, having used both I have to say that GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) is far more securely set up right out of the box than any Windows installation. period.

There is nothing in the Windows world that ever gave me the joy that I experienced last night: I logged into my Ubuntu laptop and up popped a window for updates. It said there is a new version of Ubuntu ready and asked if I would like to upgrade. Sure, it took all night to upgrade, but it was FREE! All I had to give was my consent.

This morning I had a cup of coffee, scanned the news, and checked out Ubuntu 8.04 briefly. This is an experience that Windows users will never have. Specifically I mean free upgrades, improvements, patches (free for both-ish, but you never know exactly why or what MS is patching) and security improvements. The sense that I get from GNU/Linux and F/OSS is that they are working to HELP me, not the other way around.

Point of info: I donated to Fedora, Ubuntu, DSL, Puppy, OOo, Gimp, ClamAV, and will probably donate to others this year if I find I'm using their code regularly. So when I say free I don't mean I'm freeloading. I truly feel that I'm getting damned good value for the money I donated.

Eventually, there will be an exploit but in the meantime I'm not paying someone to put that exploit on my machine for them, I'm donating money to pay for the hard work that went into creating world class software that I use. There is quite a difference between the two cultures, even if both will be attacked at some point.

Back on topic, the F/OSS world is opening up the information age to many people who would not otherwise be privy to it. That means an entire class of people are giving this to them, sharing it with them. RMS should be proud of what he has promoted and done.

Re:If this was not Linux or F/OSS (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199214)

It's replacing a closed monopoly-abusing mono-culture with an open, free competing mono-culture.

I assume it's a vast improvement.

Let's go one step at a time.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197622)

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation announced today that it will be giving a 80 bajillion dollar technology grant to schools in Brazil.

The grant will include Copies of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office as well as instruction for educators in chair throwing.

I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (5, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197624)

I have always said that using Open Source in government schools and other offices makes complete sense. Specially if they are not inside the USA.

My reasoning is that, as a tax payer in say, Brazil. I know that part of my taxes are going into buying whatever I.T. infrastructure is needed for the government (and there are countries and states where the government is *the* most important economy).

Therefore, as a tax payer, I prefer my contribution to go to Open Source projects (say, for example Open Office), which I would be able to use, instead of having to pay the proprietary software (Microsoft Office in this case) and giving that money to other countries (to the USA in such case).

Governments should mandate that all the software that is used in the government must be Open Source. The money with which the software is being bought is the money of all the contributors, and is in their best benefit to put that money in open standards, but most importantly in technology that *they* will be able to use.

Unfortunately, strong forces at the top of the governments impede such thing (at least in my own country) where big corporations push governments with "discrete" bribes in order to make them adopt whatever closed technology they sell.

It seems that the countries that will adopt Open Source as common initiative are the ones where socialism is not seen as such as scary term, akin to communism. And even the word communism does not equate to "Russian soviet slaves". Unlike USA and other countries that are *very* influenced by Capitalism.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197882)

Governments should mandate that all the software that is used in the government must be Open Source.
You're definitely not alone there. My tax money shouldn't be going to support proprietary software, formats, patents, and trade secrets. That is not the spirit of a democratic government. Apparently, many people in Massachusetts agree. [devalpatrick.com]

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

keysersoze_sec (1229038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197942)

It seems that the countries that will adopt Open Source as common initiative are the ones where socialism is not seen as such as scary term, akin to communism. And even the word communism does not equate to "Russian soviet slaves". Unlike USA and other countries that are *very* influenced by Capitalism.
Well France *is* very influenced by Capitalism, but OSS has been gaining ground over the past two years (most noticeably OpenOffice kicked MSOffice out of most major administrations). Adopting OSS is not about "capitalism vs communism", nor it is about "good vs evil" or "dark side vs light side".

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197956)

xtracto, good points you make with good intentions behind them. That is until you realize that MySQL was "bought" for big bucks. In otherwords, FOSS-only support may lead to overblown sales like that. It has to be a combination of FOSS and non-FOSS, old and new, small and big, and mix up the pot a bit to keep innovation and excitement. That's the real purpose of FOSS.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198920)

MySQL was bought for big bucks. But that does not take ANY of their open source software away from anyone. I can still use every bit of GPL code they gave out, and if I wanted to, I could get in an hack at it myself. No restrictions (past the GPL). Seems if a government became standardized on product X, and it was all of a sudden bought, they'd be in a MUCH better position as long as X was open sourced. If it was closed source, they'd be up a creek.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

Kyokushi (1164377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197974)

You sure you want to run critical goverment systems on Linux? the more stable UNIX make more sense in that case.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198182)

Well, if stability is the most critical factor, you can just install FreeBSD. No need for UNIX.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198578)

Well, if stability is the most critical factor, you can just install FreeBSD. No need for UNIX.
FreeBSD isn't Unix now?

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199248)

I always thought BSD is the very current definition of what Unix is.

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198716)

following your reasoning:

"you sure you want to run critical government sytems on WINDOWS?"

Heck, NOOOO!

Re:I have always said Gov Open Source makes sense (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199234)

I love to say all the money spent in Microsoft products creates a lot of jobs in Redmond.

Bangalore is more likely, but ruins the punchline.

Microsoft caught in the middle (5, Interesting)

javilon (99157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197630)

Apple is getting the high margin users that want a good desktop experience, and Linux is getting more and more users that need good value deals.

Microsoft is in the middle, giving up market share on both sides.

Re:Microsoft caught in the middle (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198064)

You're comparing Apples and Lemons.

Re:Microsoft caught in the middle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199096)

I'm thinking it's more like Apples and Penguins...

Re:Microsoft caught in the middle (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198304)

Apple is getting the high margin users that want a good desktop experience

I certainly agree with you here

and Linux is getting more and more users that need good value deals

I agree with you here, but disagree with what you might have inadvertently implied (even though you're not explicitly stating Windows provides a better desktop experience). ^_^

A big point used in making the decision of what OS to use is also largely determined from what a person is already familiar with, and what a person is already used to hearing about it. For example, I like to make the "Linux is too difficult to use as a Desktop OS" analogous to the idea that tomatoes are unfit for eating [wikipedia.org] .

Hardware? (1)

rakzor (1198165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197638)

I assume they're not going to be running the most up to date hardware available. So my question is, why don't they use Xfce instead of KDE?

Re:Hardware? (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197790)

Do you have any reason to believe that KDE can't run well on hardware that isn't the most up to date?

Re:Hardware? (1)

rakzor (1198165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198108)

Of course it can. I never said KDE wasn't good. But wouldn't they want it running as fast as possible? I don't think they're too concerned with how fancy KDE looks. (Not saying xfce isn't fancy, either, cause it is)

Re:Hardware? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198216)

KDE is pretty slow on my machine, and it's only 2 years old.

Re:Hardware? (1)

rakzor (1198165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198320)

My machine is three and a half years old and switching from KDE to xfce made a VERY noticeable difference. It's a Dell 2400 2.4 Ghz, 768MB ram. etc etc. Nothing fancy, but somehow I don't think they're going to be using much better hardware.

Re:Hardware? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197846)

Even on old hardware, Ubuntu is lightning quick compared to MS bloatware.

Or would you prefer they all learned their 1 2 3's from a CLI?

(Yeah, I did too... And i'm only 24. *Sob*)

52 million (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197674)

(Lifting pinkie finger to corner of lips, grinning with satisfaction)

"52 million students..."

This is great news!

Russia is making their own Ubuntu laptop this year (1)

bryce4president (1247134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197696)

Of course, I'm sure it will come with a brand new Russian interweb browsing suite, so that you don't have to wade through all the "junk" out there in the "free" world. Its all about the user experience right?

Alternatives (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197704)

Can you remove the KDE and install Gnome? I'd honestly rather use Vista... Seriously, I value real usability.

Re:Alternatives (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198400)

care to elaborate why KDE is less usable than Gnome?

OpenEducationDisc (2, Interesting)

pluke (801200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197744)

About time. Profiteering should have no place when it comes to a child's access to education. I'm an ICT teacher and we are trying to teach skills and not packages. But it is more than that, you can;t teach kids everything in school and being able to access the skills and tools that you implement in school at home is essential to complement what they are learning in school. After two years of quite severe debate, our school now uses several OSS packages and the kids are given copies of the OpenEducationDisc. Teachers and students can't believe it is free. I now have kids making music, 2D and 3D graphics and actually able to complete written assignments at home as they have something to write with and open word docs with (OOo). For me propriety formats do not have a foot to stand on when you take the home situation into hand. The latest version of the openeducationdisc is here: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=203390 [sourceforge.net]

Headline from the future: (2, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197774)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates software to Brazilian schools

Re:Headline from the future: (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199094)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates software to Brazilian schools

There's got to be a "Maybe they can compromise and do the Samba" joke in there somewhere.

Re:Headline from the future: (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199392)

I've heard they( BMGF ) typically require no use of open source software in the contracts. So some schools or libraries may have taken money from BMGF for some locations but probably not many or this would be a much smaller effort.

LoB

Re:Headline from the future: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199460)

And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is responsible for more human misery than either you or I can imagine. Here's a primer:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx7jan07-sg,0,261331.storygallery

I wonder what is MS going to do about it? (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197798)

Because MS just cannot NOT do something about it. Without a stranglehold on the OS market, MS just can't compete. And -52 million is quite a dent in the marketshare, methinks, for a country like Brazil.

In any case, interesting times ahead. Pass the popcorn, thnk you.

Re:I wonder what is MS going to do about it? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199286)

I think they will start aggressively promoting Windows to teachers so they pressure their IT folks to install it (or just do it covertly, Microsoft won't care).

Twas Ever Thus... (0)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197854)

The Windows Hegemony was primarily a US construct, and now that developing countries want to move forward with technology, but can learn from the disaster of Microsoftcentric OS policies, the nature of computing will move forward at lightning speed in other countries. Microsoft will be attacked not only from within, but from outside, from interests (GPL, Open Source) alien to Microsoft's need to control everything.

M$ strikes back (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197904)

How long before Microsoft hijack this deal?

Similar case happened.... (1)

Kyokushi (1164377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197998)

Remember those Mandriva-loaded PCs for nigeria or whatever it is? The one where nigeria also end up buying Windows OS for those?
(I only remember it vaguely, correct me if I'm wrong)

Re:Similar case happened.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198742)

Eventually the deal in Nigeria was exposed as the seller substituting Windows as part of a special deal with Microsoft. The government over ruled it and insisted on getting what they ordered and paid for not what Microsoft paid the retailer to substitute for it.

Bravo! (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198072)

This is wonderful news. Couple it with the news about the recently discovered oil fields in Brazil (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aBUoYKhu7PWk) and I can see some major economic shifts taking place!

Just heard Microsoft's checkbook open... (1)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198190)

Next up: Microsoft's announcement: 52 million kids in Brazil, the first to try out Microsoft's new extended support version of Windows XP.

And somewhere in Redmond (3, Funny)

lixee (863589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198238)

In other news, chairs are expected to rain...

KDE? (1, Troll)

xSacha (1000771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198364)

One thing to note is that all these schools that take up linux use KDE as environment of choice. I've heard of a dozen schools and countries that use linux in the classroom now and every single one is KDE. Why not gnome? Why not something else?

I know KDE has Kiosk and some Brazilian educational software, but is that it? I think KDE tries to sell itself as an educational platform as well. But.. why not Gnome? Gnome has huge potential to be in classrooms if they make an educational suite. This would also boost linux adoption. So why not?

Re:KDE? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198606)

Because they calmly assessed the facts and merits of either, and decided not to drink the gnome cool-aid, but rather see the facts as they are; which means that with gnome you get a desktop that is literally years behind -- above all wrt consistency and integration.

cheers

Tech support (4, Funny)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198404)

India and China are getting a custom-designed Ubuntu laptop from Dell

At least their technical support calls won't be long distance...

52 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198534)

52 million students in Brazil? That's, like, more than the population of England.

Oblig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198626)

Russia is making their own Ubuntu laptop this year.


In Soviet Russia, Linux runs YOU!

Computer literacy (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198710)

On another note, it's good to know that young people are formed to several operating systems, since the more people know, the more people are free.

In Brazil, it's the school that should teach that Windows is not mandatory, as the students probably use Windows at home (when they have enough money to buy a computer).

The future depends less on a single technology, and since there is a globalization process, knowing more platforms is like learning several languages.

That's nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198874)

Now the children in Brazil can post their own pedo pics in Orkut. Cut out the middle-man, I tells ya.

Half measures (0, Troll)

leandrod (17766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199208)

Go for Gnome for ease of use, and host-and-terminals for lower costs. Then I will believe.

Nothing against multihead per se, it is nice but only reaches its full potential when you have central processing in a host.

Impossible to be 52 million students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199352)

52 million students? This number is completely bogus. That's 28% of the *entire* Brazilian population. According to CETIC (http://www.cetic.br/usuarios/tic/2007/rel-geral-01.htm), 76% of the Brazilian households don't have any PCs. I call bullshit on this one.
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