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Ohio and California School Districts Migrate to Linux

ThisWeek Community Newspapers announces that Bexley City Schools, a district in Ohio, will migrate all its computers from Windows to Linux:

“We began looking around and said, ‘Well, if we go to the most current Microsoft product, how much would that cost?'” Hyland said.

Upgrading ME to Windows XP, a newer version of the popular operating system, would cost the district about $412,000, she said. That price would include purchasing new machines and upgrading software.

The technology budget for the district last year was $159,000…

Last spring, the district decided to avoid those costs and switch to Linux, which is much cheaper to maintain. Because the district is dropping Windows and picking up Linux, it can phase out older computers and the ME operating system in a more efficient way, Hyland said.”

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, writes Microsoft Windows ousted at California school district:

“By this summer, all 5,000 students and 250 teachers will be working off of a Linux-based thin client running, and the majority of the district’s servers will be running Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.”

Linux’s advantages, including remote administration and no licensing fees, resulted in huge cost savings for the 7-school district:

“Carver said it cost the district about $2,500 per school to migrate to Linux, compared with the estimated $100,000 it would have cost to upgrade their Windows infrastructure. In addition, buying more Microsoft Office licenses would have cost the district $100 per license, she said, whereas OpenOffice was free.

Ultimately, moving to Linux has enabled the Windsor School District to build out technology capabilities that wouldn’t have been possible with Windows.

“[The students] are able to do more because Linux cost less,” Carver said. “Our new computer lab [at Brooks] was set to cost $35,000 and ended up costing us $16,000 with Linux [on thin clients].”

And the kids love it too. “The kids think Linux is cool because it’s new, but what they’re really doing is stepping into the 21st century,” Carver said.”

Adding to the familiar story of cost savings is a slightly newer story, of additional capabilities Linux and FOSS provide to schools, above what they could have done with Windows and Microsoft.

Soon these migration stories will be so common I won’t be able to keep up with them (I don’t post many of them already, but do try to read most). Putting this in terms of Gladwell’s Tipping Point, we must be somewhere between the early adopter and early majority phases of the global shift to FOSS platforms.

One Response to “Ohio and California School Districts Migrate to Linux”

  1. » Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in Color. Says:
    March 1st, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    […] <b>Ohio</b> and California School Districts Migrate to Linux […]