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Interviewed by Steve Hargadon

Today I participated in a Skype interview with Solveig Haugland and Randy Orwin, hosted by Steve Hargadon. The topic was, and in particular its growing use in educational environments. (Read Steve’s blog entry on the interview, or listen to the mp3 here.)

When Randy’s school district (Bainbridge Island, in Washington State) calculated their annual Microsoft subscription costs would run over $100,000, they developed a plan to migrate entirely to and put other open source software into place (including Linux thin clients), which is being rolled out this year.

Meanwhile, Solveig reports that she’s seen an increase in demand for training from governmental organizations this year. I’ve seen a lot of press about governments formally adopting ODF, and many times that means they’re also moving to OpenOffice, so it looks like Solveig is also seeing this trend.

We also discussed the inevitability that Microsoft will have to make MS Office free to educational customers in order to compete with I think this is an ironic reversal of what Microsoft did to Netscape in the 1990s, when Bill Gates cackled at “cutting off their air supply.” Now it’s his air supply being cut, and I do not believe there is any joy in Mudville (huh?) over this twist of fate.

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