Linux claims dual victory over Microsoft

Onto every antitrust parade a little rain must fall... or something like that...

Onto every antitrust parade a little rain must fall... or something like that...

Open-source software gave Microsoft a one-two punch this week, with the European Union and an African non-profit educational organisation showing preference for Linux systems. Late last week the European Union awarded a E250,000 contract to UK-based system-integrator Netproject to study the feasibility of moving the information systems of several member countries' governments to the Linux operating system from Microsoft's Windows OS. Microsoft's expensive licensing terms and its push for customers to speed their software upgrade cycles are driving the European Union's interest in open-source solutions, said Eddie Bleasdale, CEO of Netproject. Describing a meeting with representatives from several EU member countries, Bleasdale said Microsoft's current licensing terms had governments looking for other options. "Everybody in the room said that they could not deal with the cost of moving to Microsoft's latest products," Bleasdale said. Adding insult to injury, SchoolNet Namibia, an organisation providing computing resources to the African country, has turned down a Microsoft offer to put Windows systems in their schools and decided to stay with its Linux systems. In a very public letter, the organisation lambasted Microsoft for a plan that would give the schools a $2,000 break on Office software but make them pay $9,000 for Windows XP. Joris Kamen, founding executive director for SchoolNet Namibia, stated in a letter to Microsoft's East and South Africa regional manager: "The real issue for schools is not the cost of proprietary software licensing, but the challenges and costs of deployment, maintenance and skilled human resources. Conventional Microsoft products have rapid product cycles and quick obsolescence, along with expensive long-term maintenance and support implications." Robert Lemos writes for News.com