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Open Source in Dutch Schools

Despite efforts to encourage widespread adoption of open source software in Dutch schools, the process is moving slowly, writes Herman in his post “Open source software usage in Dutch schools.”

“The big problem is of a chicken-egg nature. The educational book publishers make software which support their books with exercises on the computer, etc. You can’t swap this software out because then it doesn’t fit with the books they bought for the children. This software is only available for Windows.”

“Another factor is that schools basically get Windows for free. A Windows 2003 terminal server costs less then 40 euros a year, the CALs are free. Because of this the regular cost savings of running Linux are limited to maintenance.”

From what I have discovered, American schools don’t seem to be getting such a deal on Microsoft software. I wonder if Microsoft feels the US market is under its control, so it doesn’t need to compete for it? However, it certainly gives open source advocates a strong argument for US schools, which I think is starting to capture administrators’ attention.

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