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South African Education Department Bans Free and Open Source Software

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the 1993-wants-their-programming-language-back dept.

Open Source 185

An anonymous reader writes "The South African Education Department has effectively banned the use of FOSS software in state-run schools by forcing all candidates writing the Computer Applications Technology examination to use Microsoft's Office 2010 or 2013 as the only supported options. In the same circular, the state has mandated that all schools use Delphi, instead of Java, as the programming language for the country's Information Technology practical paper. South Africa, notorious for its poor performance in Maths and Science and for having vastly over-crowded and underfunded schools, are now locked into costly Microsoft licensing because of this decision."

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185 comments

(sniffs cautiously) (5, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 9 months ago | (#45083071)

Well, I don't smell any hint of corruption here, no sirree!

</sarcasm>

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45083239)

Well, I don't smell any hint of corruption here, no sirree!

It doesn't need to be corruption.

It could merely be incompetence and stupidity.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083409)

Hey now, have an open mind.

It could be all three!

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (4, Informative)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 9 months ago | (#45083561)

Never ascribe that to malice which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083725)

Never ascribe to incompetence what can be adequately explained by greed.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45083779)

This one's far more likely.

The whole "Never ascribe to malice" thing was written by a very malicious person.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (5, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 9 months ago | (#45084113)

The whole "Never ascribe to malice" thing was written by a very malicious person.

It is attributed to Robert J. Hanlon [wikipedia.org] , though the idea predates him by at least 200 years.

That said, most people seem to miss the important clarifications of this adage: 1) the key word is "adequately", otherwise stupidity becomes the perfect cover for malice; 2) the "Heinlein's razor" variant that says "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice,"; 3) the corollary known as Grey's Law: "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

Far too often, I hear read people talking about various gov't bureaucracy, bloat, and largesse and thus declare gov't as "incompetent". Far too seldom do they ask the question "incompetent for whom?"

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084117)

The whole "Never ascribe to malice" thing was written by a very malicious person.

Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by inadequate wedding tackle.

incompetence is passive malice (2, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45083791)

maybe not for every situation, but it certainly applies here...

Never ascribe that to malice which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

this is often a false distinction...true 'incompetence' without malice requires a staggering level of pure ignorance...

Why bother bringing this up?

b/c there is **NO DEFENSE** for what South Africa and M$ are doing here....it is PURE EVIL

I see these discussions on /. whenever a company or government does this horseshit and we all call it out as horseshit...

The idea that this decision was an "honest" mistake is surely *theoretically* possible...but to make an "honest" mistake at this level would require so much ignorance of how daily society works that the person probably wouldn't be able to support themselves...

Re:incompetence is passive malice (1)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 9 months ago | (#45084095)

Pure ignorance without malice surely would not explain this, yes.
But ignorance with a bit of prejudice. Or laziness...?

IMHO, it is not only possible, but quite probable there is no malice involved, just ignorance. It is rather easy to lose track of what level of ignorance is needed for a decision of this type. In the end, it is not that deep. And suggesting othervise is a bit arrogant and self-centered: just because *you* (we all here) lack the ignorance, we cannot fathom others having it.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084265)

Never ascribe that to incompetence that which can be adequately explained by greedy self-interest.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 9 months ago | (#45084325)

I prefer the nearly equivalent "Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice."

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084219)

No "incompetence and stupidity" is standardizing on MS Office. "corruption" is banning all open source software (aka MS Office alts).

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (4, Funny)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 9 months ago | (#45083241)

Oh please! This is just an innocent foot-hunting Safari! Everybody knows it's easier to shoot your own foot than someone else's.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 9 months ago | (#45083329)

Oracle also has a stranglehold on South Africa government.
I have seen their "sales" effort in person and it is impressive.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083495)

Wouldn't Oracle have more to gain from pupils using Java?

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#45083537)

No kidding... I don't really get Delphi at all. I mean, sure, Pascal-like languages are fairly good teaching languages, but all in all, Java, with it's C/C++ like syntax seems far more logical in a world where C, C++, Objective C, C#, Java and hell, bloody Javascript and PHP, are dominant languages.

I can get MS Office, though it's obvious Microsoft and/or its partners benefit from this kind of lock-in, but at least it's so dominant you can see the logic. But Delphi? Does anybody code professionally in Delphi any more? Frankly, I only saw a few people who ever did.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#45083795)

Locking your education system to anything that uses Delphi is a sure sign that your both corrupt and incompetent.

Re: (sniffs cautiously) (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#45083913)

1993 called and they want their software development platform back.

Re: (sniffs cautiously) (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#45084401)

I was going to ask "what new platform is named Delphi - wasn't that something from the early 90s?". Is this really that? Amazing.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45083805)

Because of course someone is going to be employed professionally to code Java based on whether they've studied Java or Delphi in high school.

God fucking dammit, procedural languages are all the same.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

silviuc (676999) | about 9 months ago | (#45084521)

Yes people still use it to make money. Like these guys: http://www.ritlabs.com/ [ritlabs.com]

Pirate Bay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083491)

I'm sure the 5 people that do those courses will be able to "legally purchase" a copy of what they need somewhere.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1)

Oliver_Etchebarne (647762) | about 9 months ago | (#45083595)

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." (Hanlon's razor)

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083853)

Is not malice enough? And doesn't stupidity fail to explain it?

Forgetting someone's birthday: stupidly forgetting or maliciously hates them? Why attribute malice here?

Makeing a collossal cock up and screwing people over, and remember that there WILL be bribes offered, and why ascribe to stupidity when malice explains it so much better?

After all, youd have to explain

1) Why stupidity leads to this decision
2) Why someone didn't point out the stupidity
3) How did someone get high enough when they were this stupid
4) Why realising it's stupid isn't happening when we're pointing it out

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084631)

"Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by greedy self-interest." (mcgrew's razor)

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (3, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#45083711)

Or...
Trying to have some sort of standard so they are not trying to teach around many different platforms, and Open Source isn't the issue.

Most of these schools already have a Microsoft license, having some kids do stuff in OpenOffice, or LIbreoffice... Means teachers who are already under stress needs to know how to deal with many platforms.

As for Delphi... My best guess it they want for focus more on Database application vs Object Oriented.

Saying that they are banning Open Source because of this is like saying a group of people are not your friends just because they didn't invite you to a particular party.

Should they be teaching Open Source, absolutely, the more you are taught the better you are... However if you need to pick and choose, then Open Source may not always be the best option.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1, Insightful)

St.Creed (853824) | about 9 months ago | (#45083971)

I agree. Also, Delphi is quite likely the better language for teaching. Pascal sure beats Java (or C++ - *shudder*) in that area.

And another thing: for some reason the fact "stuff costs money" is no problem when it comes to US schools (iPad schools, anyone?) but when it's about South Africa it suddenly has to be free of cost? Why? So the corrupt officials can actually drain off even MORE money whilst sticking it to the students?

Having expensive teaching materials as a mandatory requirement may do a lot to force parents into action against corrupt officials. It's one of the reasons that sending money to developing countries can kill off the economic prospects of that country just as effectively as an economic blockade: there is no incentive for anyone to actually stop the corruption, so it runs rampant until it's out of control.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (1, Insightful)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 9 months ago | (#45084143)

However if you need to pick and choose, then Open Source may not always be the best option.

Closed-source garbage has no place in an educational environment.

Re:(sniffs cautiously) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084639)

However if you need to pick and choose, then Open Source may not always be the best option.

Closed-source garbage has no place in an educational environment.

It's Office. It works and is 100% supported. You can't say the same thing for other Office alternatives.

I suppose you would rather it be Open Source even if that means hiring additional employees for support. Will you be responsible when there's no solution to a bug while you wait for the Apache Foundation to acknowledge this?

What will you tell these students when their documents created in Open Office don't look the same after being opened on their Teacher's computer. Oh yeah, they get a B instead of an A.

How many people where bribed to make this deal? (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#45083083)

How many people where bribed to make this deal?

Re:How many people where bribed to make this deal? (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#45083331)

Relax, all the documents created are ISO standards. There's no lock-in here.

Re:How many people where bribed to make this deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083357)

Many Bothans were bribed to make this deal.

Re:How many people where bribed to make this deal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083359)

Sadly, possibly 0.

I can imagine some government official somewhere proud of his latest powerpoint presentation made
with what he thinks is the oh so awesome MS Office products with Ribbon that he decides it makes
sense to only use MS Office 2010/2013. He doesn't even know about LibreOffice or OpenOffice, he
just wants MS Office 2003 gone.

Re: How many people where bribed to make this deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084415)

MS Office 2003? Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them still run Office 97... if not worse.

Holy Hype-fest Batman! (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 9 months ago | (#45083087)

"The South African Education Department has effectively banned the use of FOSS software in state-run schools by forcing all candidates writing the Computer Applications Technology examination to use Microsoft's Office 2010 or 2013 as the only supported options."

Fascinating, apparently MS-South Africa has sophisticated technology that seeks out and destroys all open source software simply because Microsoft Office is used for some tasks. This new learning is amazing! Tell me again how sheep-bladders can be used to prevent earthquakes!

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 9 months ago | (#45083155)

Oh one other thing: anybody who says that using "Delphi" is somehow not "open-source" while using Java is "open source" doesn't understand the difference between a programming language in the abstract and a particular piece of software that compiles or interprets code written in the language in the concrete needs a head exam.

Something tells me these guys: http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/ [freepascal.org] would get offended if you tell them that they hate open source because they have an open source implementation of Delphi. Since Delphi is a descendant of Pascal, which has a long history in software education, it's not some evil conspiracy to use Delphi in a classroom setting.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083259)

Pascal is the language. Delphi is a particular solution for programming in Pascal. If they're forced to use Delphi then they may not use Free Pascal - hence the complaint. However, until somewhere in the 2000's the department used to mandate proprietary Turbo Pascal, so I don't see why it's suddenly an issue now.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083349)

While you're correct, practically speaking, Delphi is closely tied to Oracle and Embarcadero (Borland). Somehow I seriously doubt that the South African organizations in question will be using the freepascal implementation, or even be aware that it exists.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083481)

Of course Delphi is closely tied to the oracle. It already was in ancient Greece. ;-)

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45083183)

Yep. I'm a FOSS advocate, and I just read the memo linked in the similarly-hyped FA... but this story is a waste of a good outrage.

A state-led education department has picked a particular product used to cover their basic computing curriculum, and it isn't FOSS. That sucks, but we'll try harder next time. Meanwhile, other schools not under this authority are free to use FOSS, and any schools that can manage extra resources (unlikely, I know) can still present FOSS as alternatives, and FOSS can probably still be used outside the curriculum.

I set up a computer lab in Ghana, and they had similar policies in place, but with vague enough wording that I could use a carefully-configured OpenOffice installation to cover the requirements. I suspect the actual mandated curriculum in South Africa is likely similar, and this news is just a memo from the authority saying they made the easy choice for picking their standard software.

TRWTF is Delphi.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083733)

TRWTF is Delphi.

Delphi was created by Jesus and is far superior to Java.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084577)

Total non-sequitor: did you help set up the lab sponsored by South Korea (ish - I can't remember the exact name / circumstances)?

If so, thanks! I ran a course on software engineering there this past summer.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#45083201)

How may I use these sheep bladders to run Office 2013 on FOSS Operating systems?

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083315)

But... but... but.... dis it teh Op3n Soooource!!!!!!1111111oneoneoen!!!

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#45083391)

"The South African Education Department has effectively banned the use of FOSS software in state-run schools by forcing all candidates writing the Computer Applications Technology examination to use Microsoft's Office 2010 or 2013 as the only supported options."

Fascinating, apparently MS-South Africa has sophisticated technology that seeks out and destroys all open source software simply because Microsoft Office is used for some tasks. This new learning is amazing! Tell me again how sheep-bladders can be used to prevent earthquakes!

That technology is called "convenience" and "money", and is what was meant by "effectively banned" rather than saying "completely banned".

Once you've spent the money to purchase the non-FOSS tools that the school requires you to use, you're not going to seek out free/open source replacements for those tools.

A few FOSS zealots may be willing to use LibreOffice, FreePascal, Linux, etc for most things, and only use the paid tools when he absolutely has to, but the average user isn't going to pay for one environment to use for special tasks, and then set up a completely different FOSS environment where he'll do most of his work.

(I'm one of those few, I use Linux for 99% of my work, but rdp into a Windows server to run Outlook, Visio, MS-Office, etc when I need to)

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 9 months ago | (#45083423)

> but the average user isn't going to pay for one environment to use for special tasks, and then set up a completely different FOSS environment where he'll do most of his work.

That's a false strawman. The beauty of Free Software is that it is generally platform agnostic. You don't have to do anything remotely like what you've just described. All your "special environment" requires is downloading some software.

It's no more burdensome than getting your flash and silverlight plugins sorted.

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#45083635)

> but the average user isn't going to pay for one environment to use for special tasks, and then set up a completely different FOSS environment where he'll do most of his work.

That's a false strawman. The beauty of Free Software is that it is generally platform agnostic. You don't have to do anything remotely like what you've just described. All your "special environment" requires is downloading some software.

It's no more burdensome than getting your flash and silverlight plugins sorted.

No strawman, it's a practical use case. You're assuming that all one needs to do to become proficient in some software is to install it, that's the easy part, the hard part is learning how to use it effectively.

When a student is told that he is required to submit work created by the school's chosen software, how many students are going to take the time to find a FOSS equivalent, do all of their work in that FOSS equivalent, and then, just before submitting the assignment, test it using the paid software to make sure it works, and if it doesn't work, spend time debugging it to get it to run/format correctly before submitting it?

Re:Holy Hype-fest Batman! (2)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#45083623)

Once you've spent the money to purchase the non-FOSS tools that the school requires you to use, you're not going to seek out free/open source replacements for those tools.

Key phrase there, "spent the money".

Students in general don't tend to have oodles of disposable cash. South Africa doesn't exactly have a reputation as above-average for personal incomes. Therefore, this "decree" only really means one of two things:

The SA ED has effectively ordered people to pirate Microsoft Office and Delphi, or
People will use open source tools anyway and just output in Office-compatible file formats.

A few years from now, the SA ED will scratch its head in wonderment as to why every document submitted to it has very slightly screwed up formatting, but in a mysteriously consistent way.

And considering this story comes from South Africa, they will most likely blame witches and torture a few innocent women to death.

they have a reputation to protect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083089)

looks like they take protecting it seriously

Calling Ubuntu (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083113)

Mark Shuttleworth, please speak up!

Thank you Bill and Belinda Gates (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083125)

Side effect of the Gates foundation aid to Africa?

Sounds like kick-backs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083147)

S. Africa is known for this sort of thing. They purchased a bunch of fighter jets that they could never afford to fly in exchange for a huge kick-back to the ANC.

Hopefully the kickback they got from Microsoft was worth it.

Re:Sounds like kick-backs (4, Funny)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 9 months ago | (#45083211)

In SA, they do not call it a kick back, they call it a "Facilitation Fee" :P

Re:Sounds like kick-backs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084061)

South Africa just happens to be one of the leaders in fighters technology development. Example their A-A and A-S missiles, radar technology and electro-optical guidance systems are best ones.

The End (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083149)

Sounds like they've entered the death-spiral, where the product of their education system is now making decisions on the future of the education system. Sad.

Return to the 1980's! (0)

lexypher (550666) | about 9 months ago | (#45083187)

Apparently they missed the global ostracization which accompanied such mind mindbogglingly bad choices as apartheid.

I'm from SA... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 9 months ago | (#45083193)

This makes me sad

This sounds like a job for Avaaz. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083207)

I hope someone sets up a protest on Avaaz.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/

A wide range of options is always best. (3, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 9 months ago | (#45083225)

I'm not afraid to admit I use a quite of commercial software and have been quite happy with many products out there. Yes even a few MS ones. But as a person with a functioning brain and an interest in productivity you can bet your ass every time I'm looking at an upgrade I take a moment to survey the options. Often over the course of a major version upgrade cycle I learn that a cheaper or if I'm lucky an OSS solution has become viable for my needs. Any time I see an organization act outside of that simple principle I can suspect only one of two things and neither are good. I usually hope it's just narrow minded ignorance, which with luck can sometimes be cured, but when you lock people into a paid-for only solution it usually ends up being bribery of some sort. Governments are in the end just made up of people, and like in the corporate world the decision makers are often the most selfcentered people in the land. Add to that despite using and recommending certain MS programs and services I have little doubt in my mind that MS is one of the most unethical technology companies in the world- it's how they got where they are.

Re:A wide range of options is always best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083453)

Every time I'm looking at an upgrade, I'm often finding myself frustrated by how much effort I have to make discerning between choices. More in hardware than software, but still, it gets tedious to spend so much effort on it.

But you want unethical? MS doesn't even begin to top the list, not when you consider how many scam artists are in the business. At most they have more aggregate influence, but I'd put them far less despicable than the guys who charge 300 dollars to help Grandma with her computer.

And that's not even counting the malware authors.

Re:A wide range of options is always best. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 9 months ago | (#45084135)

You are right that in some cases the options are wide and require effort to investigate. In that case I weigh the productivity loss of looking into it further, if it is a minor feature or something I only use rarely I have no shame in letting inertia keep me on what I'm used to. I rarely use a painting program on my PC but every now and then I need it for some random thing I just keep using what I'm used to without worrying too much about missing out on something a tad better. My OS's on the otherhand are very well researched, and in a hypothetical world where there was a $1000 one that vastly increased what I could get done and still run my software I would buy it in a minute. Cost is certainly a factor, but unless you have a philosophical belief in only using free solutions you are not really looking at the big picture. Had a friend who does quite a bit of Photoshoping try and go GIMP because it was OSS. I wished him best of luck, Adobe blows- but he was back in a week. In the end his enthusiasm for all of the great qualities of open software simply weren't enough to deal with a not very good product (according to him).

wait a minute (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#45083245)

If my $10 mil company can't afford Office 2013 and is switching to Libre, how the hell can an African school system afford it?

Re:wait a minute (4, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#45083275)

Because they were given a different rate?

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083425)

Yep 1SAR a copy.

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083417)

Warez

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083449)

You know, South Africa is not all that wealthy, but they do have substantially more than $10 million.

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083549)

Everyone does when they print their own currency.

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083473)

If my $10 mil company can't afford Office 2013 and is switching to Libre, how the hell can an African school system afford it?

South African school spending is approx Rand 173,000,000,000 or US$17,300,000,000 (cite: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=405001&sn=Detail&pid=71619)

Obviously they have lots of other priorities to spend their money on too, but comparing them to a $10,000,000 company is silly.

Re:wait a minute (1)

ilguido (1704434) | about 9 months ago | (#45083743)

I guess that there are more students in South Africa than workers in a $10 million company.

SA Educational plans and pricing for Office 365 (4, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45084007)

If my $10 mil company can't afford Office 2013 and is switching to Libre, how the hell can an African school system afford it?

Office 365 plans and pricing for education [microsoft.com] [South Africa]

Plan A3

Students:
R 23,30 user/month

Faculty and staff:
R 42,00 user/month

1 South African Rand = 10 cents US.

Includes:

Hosted e-mail. 25 GB/user.
Web conferencing, supports HD video, etc.
3,000 SharePoint team sites.
Active directory integration
24/7 phone support
Anti-spam and anti-malware
Office Web Apps
MS Office "Pro" Suite for 5 PCs or Macs/user
Advanced e-mail, advanced voice mail.

May include "MS Office Anywhere" --- stream full Office apps to any PC.

So what are your monthly costs per user for an equivalent bundle of applications and services? How well does Libre Office integrate with third party applications and resources?

Re:wait a minute (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about 9 months ago | (#45084043)

No-one actually buys Office 2013. You buy Office 365 and then you install Office Pro 2013 on 5 computers.

Re:wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084341)

If your $10 million per year company cannot afford MS Office. It is about to be a $0 per year company. Especially when LibreOffice trashed a customer MS Office document.

Re:wait a minute (1)

ks*nut (985334) | about 9 months ago | (#45084465)

South Africa, where they dig up gold and diamonds.

Are we the first of April? (1)

HommeDeJava (986338) | about 9 months ago | (#45083303)

I think, it's an hoax. Isn't it?

Re:Are we the first of April? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083487)

Yes, it is april 1st on the southern hemisphere.

Apartheid returns to SA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083327)

Now the rest of the world uses open source, but SA insists on an antiquated idea called Microsoft.

Delphi (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 9 months ago | (#45083375)

Forced to use Delphi? Really?

the oracle at... (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 9 months ago | (#45083651)

I know nothing of this Delphi doodad, however if you're not teaching Java you're not in the present reality. The country is already behind, this doesn't help any.

Re:the oracle at... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45084025)

Huh, they're still teaching Java? I wonder how long it will take Oracle to drive it off a cliff?

Re: the oracle at... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#45084059)

Delphi is basically object oriented pascal. Back in the early days of Windows it was as popular programming environment but its popularity began to wane as Visual Basic/C++ were much better suited for Windows 95 development.

Re: the oracle at... (1)

Windowser (191974) | about 9 months ago | (#45084419)

Delphi is basically object oriented pascal. Back in the early days of Windows it was as popular programming environment but its popularity began to wane as Visual Basic/C++ were much better suited for Windows 95 development.

Visual Basic better suited ... you must be kidding !
Visual Basic is good for nothing, not even fast prototyping.
On Error : resume next

Re:the oracle at... (1)

MooseDontBounce (989375) | about 9 months ago | (#45084541)

Delphi has been around since before Win95. Delphi was incredible popular and allowed all us Clipper developers a way into Windows development when CA dropped the ball with Visual Objects. Remember, Anders Hejlsberg created Delphi before C#. It is still very popular in most other countries besides here in the US. The choice of Delphi doesn't surprise me. Even though my company is mainly C#, etc. now, we still have a few old Delphi 7.0 and Delphi.NET applications running. In fact, I was just making a change to one before I read this article.

you FAIL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083389)

And the bootom

FOSS (1)

doconnor (134648) | about 9 months ago | (#45083393)

Aren't there a couple FOSS compilers that support Delphi to a greater or less degree?

Not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083419)

Mandating Delphi vs. Java means that students will be learning to program in Delphi, not Java. It has nothing to do with whether other software that *is* FOSS will be used. Sure, Delphi runs on Windows, but *amazingly*, so does a lot of other software, both FOSS and not FOSS. And since not everyone is programming, there certainly could be many other machines not running Delphi, or Windows for that matter, that all sorts of FOSSy goodness could run on.

Unless we're talking about Africa, where there are only 3 computers per 1000 people. :(

Unless they mean Delphi as in Aftermarket Auto Parts. If that's the case, I'm *outraged*. :)

Delphi isn't a language. Pascal is the language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083909)

Delphi is one version of it, a propriatory one owned by Oracle.

Just like FORTH is the language, Fig FORTH a version of it.

Or FORTRAN a language, but VAX FORTRAN a version.

BASIC and MS BASIC.

Delphi is the program, not the programming language. The programming language is Pascal.

Re:Delphi isn't a language. Pascal is the language (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 9 months ago | (#45084179)

Ok, I know this might be confusing, but just because the Greek city of Delphi had that famous oracle doesn't mean that Oracle owns Delphi. Oracle owns Java. The programming language, not the country of Java. And when I say own, I mean they blood well own it and anyone who says otherwise trying to whine about open source while their panties get in a bunch don't understand how the political landscape of patents, standard stewardship, lawyers, money, and power work.

Delphi is owned by Embarcadero Technologies. It compiles IT'S OWN VERSION of Pascal. Because any time you talk about Pascal you have to specify what version of it you're talking about because Pascal died due to fragmentation. Everyone took it their own direction and it was effectively drawn and quartered.

Finally! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083455)

Finally a competent government steps up. FOSS is a cancer. Why risk having to open up all your governments secrets just because one Freetard somewhere wanted to 'save a buck'. Next thing you know the GPL has taken over and you have to share all your spy secrets.

If only France was so forward thinking! There's going to be nothing lest of that country once the disease spreads.

You have been warned!!!

The primary function of any government: (1)

Chas (5144) | about 9 months ago | (#45083465)

Keep them dumb and dependent!

This is great news (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | about 9 months ago | (#45083541)

The last thing this industry needs is yet another wave of bad Java programmers.

Re:This is great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083637)

Best resume ever: "Proficient in Java programming and Microsoft Office." Ha!

People...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083601)

Students need to learn Office. A major majority of companies use Microsoft products. They need to know how to use them. It is that simple.

Re:People...... (1)

turgid (580780) | about 9 months ago | (#45084571)

If students learned a variety of office productivity applications (word processors, spreadsheets, email clients, presentation graphics etc.) they might not all go on to chose one set of products from a single vendor when they enter the workplace and start to make the decisions, unlike their blinkered and indoctrinated parents.

And the government of South Africa is socialist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083915)

The ANC which controls the government of South Africa is a member of the Socialist International.

Why are they in bed with Microsoft?

Just seems strange.

They got somebody at the top (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45083919)

Rule of acquisition #98.

so no rpi ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45083923)

so pretty much the only computer most people can afford there (rpi and other cheap arm devices) aren't allowed ?

Not very Ubuntu (4, Funny)

Meeni (1815694) | about 9 months ago | (#45084063)

That's not very Ubuntu feelings, I can feel.

Economic segregation? (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 9 months ago | (#45084159)

Who is using expensive up-to-date Microsoft products at home, and who is using the FOSS alternatives? OTOH perhaps the economic boundary is more between those who have computers at home and those who don't, in which case perhaps this is a good thing - prospective employees should be training on the current business-level software (not that school is supposed to be vocational training, but something is better than nothing).

South Africa Enters the 1990s (1)

turgid (580780) | about 9 months ago | (#45084409)

...kicking and screaming.

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