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271 comments

In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483517)

Microsoft is no more!!!!

Dammit, I'm moving.

More proof (0, Troll)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483535)

More proof that Russia is going back to the old ways of the Soviet Union

Re:More proof (5, Insightful)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483847)

Going back to Soviet Union? By slashing a monopoly and directing the money towards their own developers and encouraging competition as opposed to paying a foreign corporation which is already known to sue people in Russia?
Help me here...

Re:More proof (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483965)

Maybe the GP meant it in the sense of that Microsoft will now no doubt pull out the old "zomg open sores is SOCIALIST!!11!1!" chestnut, only this time with "SEE?!?/?1! IT IS AN U DIDNT BELEIVE US!!1!" to back it up.

Re:More proof (0, Troll)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484453)

Maybe the GP meant it in the sense of that Microsoft will now no doubt pull out the old "zomg open sores is SOCIALIST!!11!1!" chestnut, only this time with "SEE?!?/?1! IT IS AN U DIDNT BELEIVE US!!1!" to back it up.

If your argument stands on its own, it shouldn't require you to belittle your opponents. Last I checked (at the risk of providing an opening for a moronic joke), MS is not staffed by immature 11 year olds.

I'm neither here nor there on the merits of your argument, but please argue with facts, not some hideously exaggerated caricature of your opponent.

Re:More proof (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484041)

Good news to be sure, but how do you know that the money will go towards developers or even back to the people and not towards some government official's Mercedes or vacation home?

Re:More proof (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484253)

Yeah, that could only happen in Russia. Our elected officials would never do such a thing.

Re:More proof (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484185)

In a way, this is going back to the Soviet economic system.

In the USA (and other 'free' market economies), the principle that a manufacturer or distributor 'owns' a market is a pretty well established idea. Even though you and I are the 'market' and the idea of someone owning us, even in a narrow sense, harkens back to the days before the Emancipation Proclamation [wikipedia.org] .

The Soviet^H^H^H^H^H^HRussian government is taking control of the market for O/Ss. Clearly a case of nationalizing private property.

Re:In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483547)

In soviet russia, government controls microsoft.

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483711)

software frees you!

comply (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483545)

or gulag you go

aren't we talking about russia? (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483563)

i think it would be more of hassle trying get a linux distro, than a free available-everywhere pirate of a windows os

Ponosov's Case (5, Informative)

ringm000 (878375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483731)

Re:Ponosov's Case (5, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484097)

Good story. An innocent headmaster buys PCs that are preinstalled, but did not realize the PC seller has used illegal copies. The headmaster gets in trouble with the law for piracy.

Eventually the headmaster gets cleared, but he immediately organizes to push for Free software.... the result being that now Russian Schools no longer want Microsoft products. Only free products.

Karma's a _____, ain't it Microsoft?

I love fill-in-the-blank puzzles! (5, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484313)

Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!!!

Karma's a NOUN!

Re:Ponosov's Case (2, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484521)

MS never appeared, and never intended to press charges. They even said they believed the headmaster didn't intentially violate their copyright. How's that karma biting them?

If anything, it's Russia that prosecuted the wrong guy that should be to blame.

Re:aren't we talking about russia? (5, Funny)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483733)

i think it would be more of hassle trying get a linux distro, than a free available-everywhere pirate of a windows os

I know. It's so difficult to find a linux distribution these days. Ever since linux distros had to go underground I have to search the far dark corners of the internet to find a working download. If I want a copy locally, I have to go to the seedy part of town and down some dark alleyway whispering to the dealer who will get me my linux fix. Oh! If only linux were freely available from universities, computer geeks, and the internet!

Re:aren't we talking about russia? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484159)

I have an old AMD K5 laptop, currently running Windows 98. Will Linux run on that? Which dark alley should I explore to locate it?

Re:aren't we talking about russia? (0, Redundant)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484207)

i think it would be more of hassle trying get a linux distro, than a free available-everywhere pirate of a windows os

I know. It's so difficult to find a linux distribution these days. Ever since linux distros had to go underground I have to search the far dark corners of the internet to find a working download. If I want a copy locally, I have to go to the seedy part of town and down some dark alleyway whispering to the dealer who will get me my linux fix. Oh! If only linux were freely available from universities, computer geeks, and the internet!

s/dark corners/bittorrent/g

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:aren't we talking about russia? (2, Interesting)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483935)

As Russian government wanted to go to the WTO badly, they have taken vast steps towards eliminating computer piracy. So a pirate version of Windows is still relatively easy to get, but so are Linux distros. The people's inertia will still hold windows share high though. It is a great move to offer free software in schools to overcome this inertia.

Are you kidding? (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483971)

Seriously? On these Pro-Torrent threads, you have everyone and their dog claiming. "Oh I just torrent Linux distro's and yada yada yada"

You would think the internets would be flooded with Linux distro's.

It looks like.... (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483569)

It begins in Russia.

Began years ago (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484327)

Brazil, India, China, Philippines, Extremadura...

Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (5, Informative)

GuloGulo (959533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483575)

The confusion between these two types of software is not trivial.

According to TFA, it is being mandated that "free" software be used, and open source isn't even mentioned (in the translated article, I don't speak russian, sorry).

"By the end of 2009, all school computers will be installed package of free software (PSPO). This is how transfers Prime-TASS, today announced Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Igor Shchyogolev at the plenary session Information Society and the modern technologies of information in the international exhibition InfoCom-2008."

"The Minister also noted that by 2010 it is expected that the number of computers in schools will reach a million. According to Schegoleva, after three years of school will be able to make a choice: pay royalties to use software products, buying them at their own expense, or go to the domestic free software."

Nothing in there about "open source" submitter, so which is it?

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483655)

I think the government is going for cost savings, so they don't care about open source. However, I would assume that a lot of open source projects would make the cut. It doesn't have to be open source for it to be a good idea.

That was my thought as well (2, Interesting)

GuloGulo (959533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484411)

I got basically the same idea that you did from reading the article, but then I asked myself, if it's "free" software they're after, what's to stop MS from just giving Windows to them for free on some kind of "educational deal".

Seems like exactly the kind of thing MS would do.

Re:That was my thought as well (1)

WolverineOfLove (1305907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484495)

Then let them do it. But sooner or later an accountant in Redmond is going to step up and say that they can't keep doing it.

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (5, Informative)

shvytejimas (1083291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483807)

The automated translation did not distinguish the exact meaning of "free" in that sentence. The word used in the russian article was "svobodnovo", which means free as in liberty. Free as in beer would have been "bezplatnovo" - literally "payless".

Thanks but, (1)

GuloGulo (959533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484513)

That doesn't really clarify anything. Obviously there is a difference in terminology, but is "svobodnovo" the equivalen of "open source"?

I ask because the context seems to indicate this is a cost saving measure, with little to nothing to do with open source software. Your translations seem to contradict the article.

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483951)

It is free as in speech, according to the article. Open source isn't mentioned.

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484231)

"Shchyogolev"
free copy of Vista if you can pronounce it!
Also, I bet they Free and OpenSource are synonymous. Because to think of it. What free OS isnt OpenSource?

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1)

andreyvul (1176115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484471)

Shchyegolev, not Shchyogolev.
  does _not_ contain (/yo/, but /o/ after ).

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484557)

yea, but how do you pronounce it?
shee-e'-golev ? (the ' is my emphasis character)

Re:Is it "free" or is it "open source"? (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484555)

" " (from the original article) is free/libre software, not gratis or open source software.

Wise They Are (5, Interesting)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483591)

I'm probably one of the few slashdotters who has lived in Russia. I will say that I met a ton of very smart people who are breaking from their national heritage in being hard-working. A university degree from Russia now and has always equated with a Masters in the US. They are just smart in not buying into the crap that Microsoft sells. There are so many entire technology stacks--just as in the Java world, not in .NET--that can be had without ever spending a thin dime on software. Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives. And though as a software developer this eats into my bread and butter, I know they are right.

Re:Wise They Are (1, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483673)

A university degree from Russia now and has always equated with a Masters in the US.

Is that so?

Re:Wise They Are (4, Interesting)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483759)

Yes, it is. If you look at the requirements to receive a degree in Russia, it requires the amount of work that would be required in a US Masters.

Re:Wise They Are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483775)

You must not have read many foreign resumes. :-)
One year of experience also equates to five.

Seriously, I contacted my state's legal department and IT execs about this 2 years ago. You'd be absolutely amaze how they waste tax dollars. The techies I talked to said they even presented and recommended opensource email servers but the VP of technology for the state of SC said Microsoft Exchange anyways. Even though opensource handles something like 10x the volume everyday that microsoft email servers (inclding old ms mail) do.

The allure of OpenSource is not saving on ILC but future growth. The innovation and advancement is not happening in Redmond but everywhere in the world. The bazaar is better than a cathedral because you can practice cooperation and are not forced to worship a false god.

Re:Wise They Are (0, Redundant)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483835)

, e .

Re:Wise They Are (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483727)

breaking from their national heritage in being hard-working

They created an empire with more surface area than any empire since Ghengis Khan, created the periodic table, defeated Napolean and Hitler, sent the first man into space, and challenged the US for global supremacy for fifty years. I think hard work _is_ their national heritage. The lazy Russian stereotype may have been accurate in the dying days of the Soviet Union, but it is by no means the norm for Russia.

Re:Wise They Are (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484271)

In Soviet Russia, the treadmill rides you!

Re:Wise They Are (1, Troll)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484357)

Yeah, but the serfs under the Czars? What a bunch of slackers.

Re:Wise They Are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484397)

the russian mafia is far from lazy they are very thorough oh shit GOTTA G

Those are not all the same people (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484479)

I think the founding fathers of the US would scoff at the idea that Americans are the just the same as those who fought off the British, let alone comparing Russians from before Communism to todays.

Re:Wise They Are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483771)

Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives.

Thats why Linux is kicking Microsofts ass right now amirite?

Re:Wise They Are (2, Funny)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484371)

Thats why Linux is kicking Microsofts ass right now amirite?

What we need is an ad campaign in which Seinfeld meets Torvalds. That should do it.

Re:Wise They Are (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483803)

Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives. And though as a software developer this eats into my bread and butter, I know they are right.

I always looked at it as the evolution of software. Software costs money to make, it basically after a certain amount of time (depending on it's complexity) free software that mimics your software will show up. It's almost an inevitability. I see that as a way of keeping commercial software on it's toes and forcing it to continuously improve. That, and if software is created and does something everyone uses for a long time (like Windows) it makes sense that eventually the whole idea of an OS goes into the public domain so that we as a programming culture can move on and not have to re-create that ever again.

Re:Wise They Are (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483883)

A university degree from Russia now and has always equated with a Masters in the US.

So, ummm.....

In Soviet Russia, University degree Master YOU!!!

(SCNR)

Re:Wise They Are (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483919)

Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives.

Really? We pay for our database software, quite a lot of people would argue there are free alternatives, might not be just as good, but they are free!

Well you can keep your free alternatives until they are as good.

Re:Wise They Are (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484049)

Exactly and there are more companies then just Microsoft. Most of them are actually willing to support their application and fix bugs for you. Also a lot of the Non-Free software the company can afford to pay for patent rights and license other software to actually make it work correctly. There have been times in Open Source just because it was Open Source and wasn't willing to pay some money they had to take features out. Because of the Patent or License. You can complain about the problems with Licenses and Patents but they are here and will probably stay for a while longer... In the mean time if you not interestest in the Politics/Religion of Open Source you will just shill out the cash and buy software that does what you need it to do.

Re:Wise They Are (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484181)

Exactly and there are more companies then just Microsoft. Most of them are actually willing to support their application and fix bugs for you.

True. There are many great commercial software products out there, with good companies. I think where OS really shines is when going up against a company that does not listen to it's customers. Just look at Asterisk - it was started literally because they telephony companies refused to add in simple features the customers requested. When a commercial company stops responding to it's customers, open source really works well because you have the plan of last resort - adding the feature yourself. You don't have that with most commercial companies.

Re:Wise They Are (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484115)

Then you need to reconsider your definition of "alternative". If it's not as good, then it's not really an alternative, is it?

Re:Wise They Are (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484351)

Enjoy it while it lasts. I recall back in 2003 when a company I worked for forked over $8,000 for a copy of WebSphere Studio Integration Edition. And now we use free Eclipse... A major push of corporations this year is finding ways to get on open source free alternatives...

Obigatory (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483593)

In Soviet Russia, the gov't pwns Microsoft;)

Re:Obigatory (1, Troll)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483723)

Imagine Putin tea-bagging Gates.

Re:Obligatory (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484077)

Oh man... that just made me chuckle... that would be sweet!!
goatse!

Re:Obigatory (0, Offtopic)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484151)

In Soviet Russia, the gov't pwns Microsoft;)

In Soviet Russia, free software uses you!

Re:Obigatory (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484175)

actually, in Soviet Russia, the military pwns the NSA.

(from an article in yesterdays /. [computerworld.com.au] about RedHat CEO: "Earlier in the year I was in Russia and RHEL is the most secure operating system certified by the Russian military, therefore there are applications for the Russian military and government that can only run on RHEL. The ironic thing about that is the reason it is so secure is because SE Linux, the core security technology for Linux, was written by the NSA in the US." )

First the military, then the education system, next government ... then business?

Slash prices? (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483615)

What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?

I wouldn't bet on that. It's far cheaper for Microsoft to just give very, very big campaign contributions to Russian legislators.

Re:Slash prices? (1)

piggydoggy (804252) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483695)

It's far cheaper for Microsoft to just give very, very big campaign contributions to Russian legislators.

You're a bit confused. Bribing the Russian legislators wouldn't do much good because they're not really holding much power.

Re:Slash prices? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483949)

Pffft. In Soviet (and Non-Soviet) Russia, Microsoft waits in a very long line to bribe the officials.

Re:Slash prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484003)

no, bribery doesn't work well when dealing with governments. they tend to take all the money, then stab you in the back, and say to your face, "you, and what army! We've got [insert as applies; thermonuclear weapons; subs; legions of tanks!; x,xxx,xxx infantry]"

when corruption is that high in a democracy all you can count on from your native government is high taxes, subterfuge, and lies, and all you can count on from foreign governments is high tariffs subterfuge and lies.

sometimes tariffs are politely and quietly ignored, for the sake of global economic growth. the more jobs you bring a country the more you can trust their politicians to have a vested interest that bribery can buy.

microsoft has to face a huge tariff in europe, its called a 'value added tax' which is added to every consumer item instead of having a national income tax, quite a clever ploy, rather than having a tariff you have a flat tax on consumerism, making consumerism more costly.

America is way behind both europe and russia when it comes to economic growth ploys. and especially to japan, who jumped on the growth bandwagon that tech was early, but dropped the ball in the 90's and lost to china, america, and Taiwan. even germany got on the bandwagon with getting dresden plants from AMD.

yeah, japan was it in the 80's but sony couldn't manage to realize radios and TVs were going to be short margin devices, and glorified electric type writers would drive the late 90's and the 00's.

although america is definitely running out of money to drive a consumerist lifestyle. investors have moved to higher return on investment markets, ignoring the fundamental key to globalization is the expansion of the money and resource supply to greedy, ignorant short sighted individuals. which america is full of.

it comes from taking the cast offs from every place around the world that had cast offs to get rid of for generations. americans are less smart, they don't want to be brought to a situation of having to think for themselves unless they gain a sick perversion of being smarter than everyone else. that's why i spend 12 hours a day reading websites and learning more information, to be the guy who knows what's going on, in america where the bar is low, and easy for me to obtain elite knowledge.

it is a sick perversion understanding what's flawed with the world but not having an ounce of motivation to go out and fix it. fixing things is work, knowing things and being smart is fun.

ac for obvious reasons.

RED STAR LINUX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484257)

Obviously "Red Star Linux" had a profound effect on Microsoft's China marketing policy, not.

Re:Slash prices? (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484275)

It's far cheaper for Microsoft to just give very, very big campaign contributions to Russian legislators.

Yeah, and that's pretty much their tactic in the US now, too, since they became one of the biggest "campaign contributors" back in the 2000 elections.

Anyway, slashing prices is difficult in a country where most "customers" get Windows for free. To beat that, MS would have to start paying people to use their software. Of course, for government agencies, it can be a bit more difficult to get away with using pirated software. Your records may be accessible to the politicians who are on the take, and they have ways of punishing people who don't buy from their campaign contributors.

But there may well be a bigger reason: Maybe the Russian government's IT folks are finally getting across the idea that there are serious problems with trusting any binary-only software that comes from a big American corporation. Consider the story discussed here a while back, about the fact that Vista (and apparently XP, too) will sometimes ignore config settings having to do with updates, and automatically update things even when you have explicitly told it not to. This is a giant "backdoor", as the security folks call it. Not only can the software you buy have all sorts of extra code in it that they didn't tell you about ("special for the Russian market"); Windows may at any time replace parts of your system with a new version that has even more "special" code tailored just for you. That's gotta be making a lot of people a bit nervous.

This nervousness is probably encouraged by the widespread interpretation of the 1982 Siberian pipeline explosion [builderau.com.au] , as the result of sabotage by American software. That's an Australian site, but you can find lots of descriptions of this event online, and most of them give the same explanation. This story is a good illustration for why you don't want to run unanalyzable binaries in the controls for critical infrastructure. And maybe you don't want to run binary-only software anywhere. ("Think of the children" comes to mind here. ;-)

Note that "free" software is usually also open source. That means you can hire your own hackers to study the code, and remove any backdoors they find. And you can do clean compiles, to ensure that the binaries you're running actually correspond to the code. This should be sufficient to convince anyone with a grain of sense. We don't know whether access to the source code would have prevented the above explosion, but we can safely say that lack of the source code does pretty much prevent finding and fixing such problems.

Russian Politics (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484475)

Fortunately, that's just not the way Russian politics work. Even if they managed to bribe politicians to make the laws in their favor, it would change nothing in practice. Besides, Russians wouldn't accept it. They will always get what the want for free or almost free as long as they have the will to.

Slash its prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483621)

Microsoft would have to give quite a slash to compete with free.

how much (1)

DKP (1029142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483641)

wonder how much this would save the US

Read: No Money (1)

Markvs (17298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483681)

Makes sense, as it's going to be hard to support schools with oil prices tanking. Russia has lost over $230 Billion USD in the last month, and it's not going to get better as oil prices remain flat or slide (perhaps to $40/barrel).

Re:Read: No Money (2, Informative)

Vicarius (1093097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483937)

Russia's last few 3-year budget plans, as well as the ones coming up, were betting on $70-80 price and all excess is being put into a separate fund/account. Russia still has not spent its surplus of the oil money.

Re:Read: No Money (2, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484329)

'... all excess is being put into a separate fund/account.'

Yeah; Putin's, I bet.

Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483689)

If a school doesn't want to use the free software supplied by the government*, it has to buy commercial licenses using its own funds**

* the taxpayers
** the taxpayers

But seriously this is good, puts a little pressure on the budget while leaving schools free to make their decision. Good move.

You know what they will say now... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483709)

You know what people will say now if you use F/OSS: "What, are you communist or something?".

Of course, the same idiots have been saying this for a long time, but now they'll have something to point to.

It's too bad the US gets so hung up on political bullshit like this to the point that it really truly does get in the way of progress. Universal Health Care? No way, it's "socialism". Regulate the financial industry? Socialism again. Progressive taxation? Wealth redistribution. (Why isn't it called wealth redistribution when the rich are taking from the poor?) At first I thought "great news, maybe the US will see the advantage of this someday". But on reflection, I think this might set F/OSS adoption in the US back by decades.

Re:You know what they will say now... (3, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484001)

You know what people will say now if you use F/OSS: "What, are you communist or something?".

I doubt it. The people saying things like that are small town lower class. The decision to use open source is made by people who run technology oriented businesses. The divide there is pretty large.

Re:You know what they will say now... (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484029)

Well, you have the democracy there -- vote for the government that supports free software. It is that simple :)

If a country like Russia is "converted" to free software, it will be a great news for the whole movement -- there are be many Russian programmers who will contribute greatly to the movement if the switch is made.

Re:You know what they will say now... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484441)

"You know what people will say now if you use F/OSS: "What, are you communist or something?"."

Weren't they saying that already?

Don't underestimate the dark side (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483753)

What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?
Microsoft already pays people to use their search engine... I'm betting MS starts paying Russian schools to use their software!

In Putin's Russia... (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483763)

...all software is free because, really, who the hell buys it when the piracy industry is so well developed?

Microsoft OSs have a kill switch (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483777)

Remember, Microsoft OSs have a "kill switch" implicitly built into Windows Update. If you use Windows Update, Microsoft has total control of your computers. That's not acceptable given Russia's renewed determination not to be under the control of the United States.

Even with Windows Update turned off, there are all those little things, like "codec downloads" and "DRM downloads" which can insinuate new Microsoft software onto a computer. That's unacceptable to a sovereign nation.

Re:Microsoft OSs have a kill switch (3, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484007)

Actually, Even with Windows Update turned off, MS can still force in an update.

That what happened in Aug 2007

In other news (0, Troll)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483783)

the Russian Government announces bankruptcy, can't afford to buy supplies and software for schools.

Illegal product dumping? (2, Interesting)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483791)

What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?

It's hard to compete with free. In light of M$ slashing their prices in China to compete with pirated-retail versions of their software, would they be desperate enough in a bid to hold onto market share to practically give away software in order to compete with FOSS?

Moreover, they claim piracy of their products around the world costs them "billions of dollars". I assume that's calculated on the basis of US-retail prices translated into foreign exchange rates, and they seem to have a hard-and-fast notion of exactly what each copy of their software is worth in terms of intellectual property, profit margin, cost of materials, and so forth when they make such statements. I wonder, since they're so sure of what their product is worth, if they could be accused of illegally dumping their products in foreign markets. They'd obviously be selling them for less than they know/believe they're worth in able to compete.

Re:Illegal product dumping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483857)

Think of the children! Microsoft giving away these very very expensive programs for the good of our childrens learning!

When will MS go open source? (0)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483797)

To me it seems really inevitable that microsoft will eventually have to open source windows. It may still be a ways off, but in the long run I just don't see how they can compete against linux and other open source operating systems. Linux gets better every year while microsoft stagnates. We've already seen some of the problems Windows has with driver support for example in Vista. If they open source windows and start moving toward a business model more like Red Hat, it would allow people to improve legacy drivers, find and fix various bugs in the os, and they would end up with a better operating system. No matter how much money they throw at the development of their OS, it just won't be able to keep up with the open source world, especially in terms of supporting legacy devices.

Re:When will MS go open source? (1)

VoltCurve (1248644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483905)

Really? most driver related problems for vista were resolved in the first year of release. Had Vista driver writing progressed at the same speed it did/does for linux, we'd still be years away.

Re:When will MS go open source? (1)

KasperMeerts (1305097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484135)

Great because Microsoft makes all drivers for Vista, just like the Linux kernel developers do for Linux.
I hate these false comparisons, if every company out there would write drivers for Linux and if their company depended on that, there would be no problems for Linux.

All in all, the Linux driver model is way better than that of Windows, if only because it's open source.

Re:When will MS go open source? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484145)

I'd like to disagree with you, but I can't. I'd also like to agree with you but I can't. Initially, hardware driver support under Linux was difficult and it did take a very long time to get where it is today. But now Linux hardware support is superior to Windows V****. I have grown accustomed, lately, for excellent support for hardware devices of all sorts from USB webcams to USB serial ports, video cards, sound cards and even a great many "Windows only" printers are printing nicely through CUPS. These days, when I plug something into Windows, whether it is XP or V****, getting prompted for a driver install is simply annoying when under Linux, I just plug and play... (when was the first time I heard that term? Ah yes... Windows 95... now several generations later, we still get "plug and tweak and then play.")

Re:When will MS go open source? (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484079)

Oh, they will. But only for themselves. Shared source, they call it, I believe. As for Linux -- it does get better every year, but given the vast amount of inertia in people's minds and shady monopolistic tactics of Microsoft, Linux has to be ten times better to achieve ten times less. There is still much work to do.

Russian translation? (3, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483925)

I'm confused, can Glyn Moody read Russian, or is the article based on the Google translation?
From this, no one is being forced to use anything, they are given free software, and individual schools must foot the bill of commercial software. I'm sure this will help spur free software adoption, but isn't the real story about the Govt not buying school software anymore? A story like this in the states would imply the schools are now rejigging their IT budgets, not necessarily adopting free software wholesale. A story about govt funding to schools being cut probably wouldn't be taken in such positive light either.
Just my two cents.

[Via Google Translate: By the end of 2009, all school computers will be installed package of free software (PSPO). This is how transfers Prime-TASS, today announced Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Igor Shchyogolev at the plenary session Information Society and the modern technologies of information in the international exhibition InfoCom-2008.]
[Via Google Translate: The Minister also noted that by 2010 it is expected that the number of computers in schools will reach a million. According to Schegoleva, after three years of school will be able to make a choice: pay royalties to use software products, buying them at their own expense, or go to the domestic free software.]

Re:Russian translation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484107)

"Free" as in speech. That's the S in PSPO. "Free" as in beer would have a B there.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25483929)

That's about the only aspect of Russian educational policies that I'm likely to agree with. Having schools over here shell out lots of cash for most commercial software is a stupid policy. Of course, using a computer for everything in your curriculum (especially mathematics) is a huge mistake. Kids need to learn how to live without computers as well as with them.

It might be to Microsoft's advantage (5, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483933)

If Microsoft simply let Russia go free (sounds weird right?) then perhaps there will be fewer Russian hackers writing Windows malware. That would be something of a long-shot I suppose.

related to their own version of GNU/Linux? (1)

sillyxone (955341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25483997)

"Also part of the consortium is ALT Linux, rapidly emerging as a serious force in the world of Linux distributions (and of which, more later), Linux Ink - developer of SciLinux - and system integrators RAMEK and NCIT.

By September of this year Armada reported that Linux software had been installed in 1092 schools in the three trial areas, while a further 200 schools from outside the trial regions had also expressed an interest in testing the Open Source operating systems being developed by ALT Linux."

http://reddevil62-techhead.blogspot.com/2008/10/russias-open-source-revolution.html [blogspot.com]

USA becoming a technology backwater? (5, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484009)

Actions like this speak volumes about the future of the United States in the global economy. As a whole we are locked into the Microsoft monopoly more tightly than any other nation. As the rest of the world embraces free and open source software at a faster pace than we do, they are essentially leapfrogging us in technological advancement. If more USA users don't wise up to this soon, we risk becoming a technological backwater. It could take years to catch up, if ever.

If you think this isn't possible, consider how much farther ahead cell phones are in Europe, or broadband to the home in Asia.

Slashed prices? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484065)

What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?

After awhile, other countries would catch on to this, and MS would likely be forced to drop prices everywhere...

Free as in freedom (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484121)

I'm a native russian speaker, and "ÑÐобоÐноРÐYÐz" means a "free OS" as in freedom.

So they probably went with ALTLinux or whatever version of linux they got there that's popular.

(also, the russian text in preview is broken for whatever reason)

MS Should RAISE the price (5, Funny)

Sparrow_CA (783100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484171)

I have an uncle who lives in Russia, where he bought a computer preloaded with XP. After some time he realized it wasn't a legit copy, and went back to the place he bought it from to inquire about getting an "upgraded" version. The manager had this to say to him: "There is exactly ONE legal copy of Windows in Russia, what makes you think that YOU should have it?"

Hence, MS should just raise the price of that one copy.

Re:MS Should RAISE the price (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484511)

I think there is just about ONE legal copy of everything in Russia. Music and Movie companies may not know it, but just about every young Russian has TONS of movies and music that you can get for dirt cheap on any street in any city in Russia.

In Soviet Russia (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25484177)

Its all free, right?

What the story SHOULD have been... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25484423)

""After running some successful pilots..."

THIS is the big one. Not whether a contract was signed or not.

What Linux needs are success stories showing that it is viable as a large-scale enterprise operating system. No commercial organisation wants to be first into a new, unknown environment. Why can't we see the results of these pilots, and have them widely publicised?

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