M$ vs. public schools: Open Source to the rescue?

— 2:57 PM on July 21, 2001

TwoFer sent in this Salon article with the following comments:

Microsoft—with a bit of help from the BSA—is cracking down on public school systems' lax enforcement of software licensing. The schools say that they don't have the money to do it right, and Microsoft / BSA haven't always been exactly cooperative and understanding about their plight.

To me, the most interesting angle is the "free software" opportunity. The article discusses the potential impact of things like Linux and StarOffice; neither have any licensing issues at all. The downside I see is that it takes more to get a Linux system up and running, so the schools would need their hands held a bit. Still, I remember how Apple cornered the educational market long ago, cutting their profits with the expectation that they'd be building a large, friendly user base for the future. It worked pretty well for them, while they kept it up.

So, is now the time for the Open Source movement to act decisively? This may be the opportunity of the millenium...

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