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All schools In Denmark switching to Linux 424

Posted by Hemos
from the making-the-move dept.
Someone who can read Danish writes "According to this story (in Danish) Denmark has taken the first steps to start using Linux and Staroffice in all schools (1.1 million students). Sun has agreed to provide Staroffice for free, or on a CD-ROM for 10 Danish crowns ($1.5)."
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All schools In Denmark switching to Linux

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  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <<teamhasnoi> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:33AM (#4942942) Homepage Journal
    That's absurd! There aren't even that many kings in Denmark!
    • There aren't even that many kings in Denmark!

      Aside from the joke...

      The term "crown" referring to a monetary unit comes from the fact that some old coins had a bas-relief crown stamped into them. It's analogous to the term "Benjamin" referring to a 100 USD note, which carries a picture of Benjamin Franklin.

    • Quick translation (Score:2, Informative)

      by gnalle (125916)
      The article does not claim that the schools are switching. It only says that staroffice will be available for download. Here is a quick translation with a few typos

      Free software for school use

      Denmarks 1,1 million school pupils, students and teacher can now turn to back to microsoft. At least with respect to office programs.

      A deal between the silicon valley company Sun Micrososystems Incorporated and UNI-C causes that all the school pupils, students and teachers can download the office program Startoffice for free and install it on their home computwer. Alternatively they can buy it on a CD-ROM for the price of frabrication: 10 kr per CD (This is about 1 $). The schools can buy staroffice i packages of 50 cd's

      The deal that Sun made with UNI-C follows the directions laid out by minister of education Ulla Tørnæs. They were made public October 30th, and they describe how institutions of education must act when offered office programs for free
      One of the demands are that such donations do not cost the state any money, another demand is that UNI-C (The IT-center of research and education of Denmark) must administrate and distribute the licences.

      UNI-C will have its expenses covered through the 10 kr that the CD's cost. Sun will provide a server with the cost-free OS Linux for the pupils, students and teachers who wish to download StarOffice 6.0.

      >>UNI-C exists to help the danish education world, so of course we are happy to be able to mediate such a special initiative from Sun, says Dorthe Olesen, administrative director of UNI-C.

      The most used office system in the world Microsoft Office, does not have a version for Linux

      Because of the dominance of Microsoft in office and operative systems, a growing number of state owned institutions work on creating alternatives - primarily a combination of starofice and Linux

      If all 1,1 milion pupils, students and teachers use the offer, the total value is about 200 million kr (20 mil $) (says sun)
    • In Danish the word for a crown and for the currency is the same, though they don't mean the same. ie, its incorrect to call the currny crown, its Kroner (and not ment to be translated)
  • I can only speak COBOL, and that badly. I don't even know what danish is. Is it like VB?
  • by blacklambda (18117) <Ryan.Dorman@millersville.edu> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:34AM (#4942946)
    I work as a Network Engineer in a state-run university in Pennsylvania. The new Microsoft lisence terms (a.k.a. software rental)are beginning to cause major worry in a 2500-plus seat environment where old versions running on ancient comptuers allow us to get by. The concept of moving to a StarOffice or other productivity suit us now (an a year ago unthinkable) being seriously considered.
    • Just out of curiosity, are you speaking of PSU or its branch campuses, or the actual commonwealth colleges?
    • by Chordonblue (585047) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:02AM (#4943039) Journal
      We might not be a university, but our school here in PA did it. We converted to Staroffice 6.0 for the teachers and lab computers. We also distribute Openoffice.org to all of the students. This is an important point, because as MS Office file formats become more and more fragmented (just wait until Office 11!), the need to unify on a single, usable format (like XML) becomes critical. While saving money on licenses is a bonus, the real savings for us is in the heartache of incompatible formats.

      Anyone here care to guess how many different incompatible programs our students have on their computers? Not counting the various (and sometimes) incompatible variations on MS Office, you also have the abortion known as MS Works. Then there's Lotus, WordPerfect... Hell, even NOTEPAD! And don't get me started about the different versions used from country to country. We have students who attend here from all over the world.

      We've been using Open/Staroffice now for well over a year and are not looking back anytime soon. There were some minor initial glitches, but this was due to our using the Openoffice.org betas. Star PP1 / Open 1.0.1 have been rock solid for us.

      Chuck Hunnefield
      Technology Coordinator
      Linden Hall School for Girls

      "They bought their tickets... They knew what they were getting into..."
      • Microsoft Works is not an abortion, it's an oxymoron

        Like 'Taped live', 'Military Intelligence', 'Tax Return' or 'Government Organisation'

        OXYMORON n.: A rhetorical figure in which an epigrammatic effect is created by the conjunction of incongruous or contradictory terms

        More oxymorons here [oxymorons.com] and here [oxymoronlist.com] (and I'm sure you can search google for more.

        P.S. Could someone please explain what 'Commonwealth affiliated' means in one of the replies above, for the benefit of us UK folk, to whom 'Commonwealth' means something probably quite different.
      • the need to unify on a single, usable format (like XML) becomes critical

        The only problem I see with SO/OO XML is that it's completely unindented and there is no XSL to convert it to anything readable. Ive made few hacks by myself, but it would be nice if Sun will supply some XSL to convert to/from another XML formats.

  • Rotten (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gyan (6853) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:36AM (#4942951)
    Time for Gates to say "there's something rotten in Denmark" and get on the plane.
    • Maybe he'll send his first officer [ntk.net] instead.
    • Re:Rotten (Score:3, Funny)

      by JediTrainer (314273)
      Or, more likely, Launch the competitionkeeper missiles [mrchuckles.net]
    • Re:Rotten (Score:2, Funny)

      by Malfourmed (633699)
      Time for Gates to say "there's something rotten in Denmark" and get on the plane.
      Yes... VB or not VB, that is the question.
    • Re:Rotten (Score:2, Informative)

      Microsoft made an offer where the Schools and teachers could get MS Office for "free".

      Sun made the offer, where Schools, teachers and Students can get StarOffice for free :O)

      In 1.5 years I'm going to be a teacher in Denmark and I like StarOffice :O)
      I use OpenOffice.org right now :O)

      Thanks Ulla Tørnæs :O)
    • Re:Rotten (Score:5, Funny)

      by iapetus (24050) on Monday December 23, 2002 @06:02AM (#4943479) Homepage
      Ballmer: [Reading] In the most high and palmy United States,
      A little ere the mightiest Apple fell,
      No PC stood OSless, and the servers all
      Did crash and gibber in the server rooms.
      And even the like precurse of fierce events,
      As harbingers preceding still the fates
      2000 and XP together demonstrate
      Unto our climature and countrymen.
      [Handing script to Marcellus] Slashdot is desperate with imagination.

      Gates: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

      Ballmer: Heaven will direct it.

      Gates: Nay, let's buy it out.

      Ballmer: My lord, my lord!

      Gates: Illo, ho, ho, my lord!

      LINUS ENTERS

      Linus: Hillo, ho, ho, boy! Come, bird, come.

      Gates: How is't, my noble lord?

      Ballmer: What news, my lord?

      Linus: O, wonderful!

      Ballmer: Good my lord, tell it.

      Linus: No, you will embrace and extend it.

      Ballmer: Not I, my lord, by heaven!

      Gates: Nor I, my lord.

      Linus: How say you then? Would Linux give men source code?
      But you'll be secret?

      Both: Ay, by heaven, my lord.

      Linus: There's neer a student dwelling in all Denmark
      But he runs StarOffice.

      Ballmer: There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
      To tell us this.

      Linus: Why, right! You are in the right!
      And so, without more circumstance at all,
      I hold it fit that we shake hands and part;
      You, as your business and desires shall point you;
      As every man has business and desire.
      And for my own poor part, look you, I'll go code.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:37AM (#4942958)
    how come these articles never seem to have any follow-up? do they stay with linux or give up after a year?
    • He's got a point. Remember that not-well-planned attempt to convert Mexico schools to Linux?

      Yes, let's put RH w/KDE on 486's... Didn't work due to poor planning. I wonder of the over-exuberance of Penguinistas is to blame for that one.

    • Microsoft's PR department would probably let you know if some big institution that switched away from Windows or Office came back to it. And there are plenty of computer columnists and reporters who would have a field day with that as well.

      While individuals and small installations may go back to Windows, I suspect that for most large installations, the cost advantages and reliability of Linux are so compelling that they tend to stay with it.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:38AM (#4942961) Homepage Journal
    but as the US has consistently proved in the past decade and still not caught on to is that they're not the center of the universe. The loss of Microsoft's power will not be starting in the States, but rather in the countries with the good of the nation rather than the economy on their minds. UNIX has been a staple of Computer Science since the 70s (pre-70s i'd be hard pressed to consider anything on the frontier known as computers as a staple), and IMHO has a good number of decades left in it.
    • And what's wrong with 30+ year old technology? Why the hell are we using "DVD"s when we should be using videotapes?? CD's? Screw that. I want records. Anti-lock brakes and fuel injectors in cars? No way. I want 2 drum brakes and a carbureator. What's with this "progress" thing, anyway? Computers shouldn't be any easier to use. They should be just as difficult as they were in the 1970's. After all, that's what technology is all about. Not changing. Not progressing. Now damn it, where's my reel to reel tape drive and my 300 baud modem?
  • Editors on crack... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Iamthefallen (523816) <Gmail name: Iamthefallen> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:38AM (#4942964) Homepage Journal

    The article speaks mostly about Sun's StarOffice and how students will be offered it, not that every school will switch to Linux...

    I'll leave translation to someone who has stronger danish skills than me though.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Translation:

      Denmarks 1,1 million school students and teachers can now turn their backs to Microsoft Corp. At least when it comes to officeprograms.

      An agreement between Sun Microsystems and UNI-C implies that the students and teachers at all levels can download StarOffice 6.0 for free and install it at their homecomputers at no cost. Alternativily they can buy a cd-rom at the pure cost which is set to 10 danish crowns (1,5$ or so). The schools can buy StarOffice in bulk (50 cd's).

      The agreement has been made with UNI-C according to the rules of guidance that the minister of teaching Ulla Tørnæs (liberal party) published the 30. october. These rules describe who schools and universities must act when offered free office-programs. Among the demands are, that such gifts are truely free to the state and that UNI-C, the danish IT-center for research and education must distribute the licenses.

      UNI-C get their expenses covered by the 10 crowns that the distribution of the cd's earn them. Sun provides a server with StarOffice and Linux so that students and teachers can download these programs for free.

      UNI-C is here to help the educationenviroment in Denmark, so we are of coure happy to be able to provide such an initiative from Sun, the CEO of UNI-C Dorte Olesen states.

      The most common office-system in the world is Microsoft Office which does not exist in a version that can be run on a Linux OS.

      Due to the dominance of Microsoft within office-programs as well as OS more and more public authorities are working to create alternatives, primarily the combination of Linux and StarOffice.

      If all 1,1 million students and teachers were to take the offer of Sun, the total value would be approx. 200 million danish crowns (28 million $).

      Sorry for bad language, spelling errors and misprints.

    • by Mathness (145187) on Monday December 23, 2002 @05:45AM (#4943449) Homepage
      The article speaks mostly about Sun's StarOffice and how students will be offered it, not that every school will switch to Linux.

      What I find amazing is that this story is more "news worthy" than Denmarks resent law (passed on 11/12-02) and enforced from 22/12-02, whick makes it illegal to import or resell music CDs, DVDs, books and comics from outside EU. Except for your own personal use. Which means that any buisness, education or public service (Radio and TV) have to ask permission each time they want to buy/import any of these items, if they survive long enough. Laserdisken (a Danish shop specilized in import of DVDs from America and Asia) have already begone to close two of its three shops.

      Read here for more info (sorry Danish only):
      Politiken [politiken.dk]
      Digital forbruger [digitalforbruger.dk]
      • What I find amazing is that this story is more "news worthy" than Denmarks resent law (passed on 11/12-02) and enforced from 22/12-02, whick makes it illegal to import or resell music CDs, DVDs, books and comics from outside EU.
        They are afraid of American culture somehow "taking over". Take that as you will, but it seems somehow un-neighborly. It's sad that it is an EU country leading the way to block the free contest of ideas, in order to shore up their feeble tribal identity.

        Shame on them.
      • by Sloppy (14984)
        I guess people are as stupid and irresponsible in Denmark as they are here in America.

        If it is the will of the Danish people to stop being assimilated by outside cultures or sending revenue to outside their jurisdiction, then all they have to do is Just Say No and stop buying that stuff. But noooo, they need a law to make themselves do what they supposedly want themselves to do.

        Not a specific criticism against the Danish people, really. As Frank Zappa would say, we're "Dumb All Over."

  • by Gerad (86818) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:39AM (#4942965)
    I've started to question the authenticity of some slashdot stories recently, especially after things like this [slashdot.org]. If the editors don't read stories posted in our own language... Anyone out there want to verify this?
    • It is a lie.

      Star Office will be ubiquitious. It also works with linux, but linux will not be ubiquitious.

      In other words, they are moving to Star Office freely, or for a minimal price on CD. Hardly the same as a non-Microsoft workplace, more like non-MSOffice workplace.

      Still, not a bad start.

      Now if they could just set up a Christiania in San Francisco...
  • Isn't this what Microsoft has been repeatedly accused of? They the first hit free, get them addicted, and tie them into the costly upgrade path. While I like seeing more people using Linux and Open Source software in general (not the smallest reason being that, as a contributor of (small) projects to the community, I feel like a part of everyone's work is making it out there to the masses), I wonder if Sun intends to some day change its mind about OSS/FS when StarOffice has become ubiquitous.

    • The GPL firmly kills any chances of a bait and switch. If SUN tried to tighten the screws they could switch to open office...
      • Right. Among other things, OpenOffice forces SUN to stay honest.
        There are some distinct advantages to the StarOffice/OpenOffice duo. The software itself can be identical, but what the consumer is actually buying is substantially different.
        StarOffice is "paid-for" software. This means that support is available because the consumer has a problem. Ultimately, the consumer asks "What am I doing wrong here?" The support is geared toward helping the consumer use the software, not toward fixing anything in the software itself.
        OpenOffice is "free" software. This means that support is available because the consumer has run into an "interesting" problem. Ultimately, the consumer says "There is a problem, and here is a possible fix". The support is geared toward finding and fixing any remaining problems in the software, with "Read The Fine Manual" a valid response to any problems of user misunderstanding.
        This makes for an interesting ecosystem. As corporate, I will happily keep spending good money on StarOffice as long as it is not *too* inferior to the free OpenOffice. In a sense, what I'm really buying is that I don't have to "Read The Fine Manual". If I have a problem, I *can* get help. What *will* change is how I use the software, not the software itself. If I'm smarter (and sneakier) than the average PHB, I'll buy StarOffice and *use* OpenOffice. Long term, they reinforce each other. That's what I'm really buying.
        The ... taken the first steps to start using Linux and Staroffice in all schools is accurate. Like Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc., StarOffice/OpenOffice will work on Microsoft Windows, but there are too many edge cases that work with *nix and not with Microsoft Windows.
      • The GPL firmly kills any chances of a bait and switch. If SUN tried to tighten the screws they could switch to open office...

        I don't think this is true exactly. Sun is the copyright holder, they can distribute the software on any terms that they wish. I think that's why they can link Open-office with closed-source libraries like the template code and other extras and sell it as StarOffice.

        It's only fair though. Sun bought the star-office code for a lot of money and released it GPL. They didn't have to do that, but they did. They also put quite a few developers and other resources into managing the resulting open-office.

        Just as with Mozilla and AOL, I'm sure a large part of the work going into open office today is still on Suns dime.

        If Sun wanted to tighten the screws as you said, all they'd have to do is remove some of the developers that they have on OO and put them on StarOffice only code; although I don't think they have any reason to do that.

  • Translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Radagast (2416) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:44AM (#4942988) Homepage
    Free software for school use
    By Keld Louie Pedersen

    Denmark's 1.1 million students and teachers can now turn their backs to Microsoft corporation. At least when it comes to office software.

    A deal between the Silicon Valley company Sun Microsystems Incorporated and UNI-C means that the country's students and teachers can download the office program StarOffice 6.0 from Sun at no cost and freely install it on their home computer. Alternately, they can buy it on CD-ROM at cost, 10 kroners per CD. The schools can buy StarOFfice in packages of 50.

    Sun has made the deal with UNI-C according to the guidelines announced by education minister Ulla Toernaes (Left Party) on October 30th, on how educational institutions should act when offered free office software. Amongst the requirements are that such software donations are without cost for the state, and that UNI-C Denmark's information technology center should be responsible for distributing licenses.

    UNI-C's expenses are covered by the 10 kroner the distribution of CD-ROMs brings. Sun makes a server with the free Linux operating system available for those students and teachers who want to download StarOffice 6.0.

    "UNI-C exists to help the Danish educational world, so we're naturally very pleased to be able to distribute this type of initiative from Sun", says Dorte Olesen, director of UNI-C.

    The world's undisputedly most wide-spread office system is Microsoft Office, although this does not exist in a version that can be used on computers with Linux as the operating system.

    Because of Microsoft's dominance in both office and operating systems, several government institutions are working on creating alternatives, primarily the combination of Linux and StarOffice.

    If all 1.1 million students and teachers make use of the offer, the total value will, according to Sun Microsystems, be around 200 million kroners.

    • by mmacdona86 (524915) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:54AM (#4943014)
      Sun is making StarOffice available free for Danish schools--that's pretty much all the story is. Not really news since Sun has been promoting StarOffice pretty widely. The schools are under no obligation to use StarOffice, and it sounds like there is no Linux involved at all (except the server from which you can download StarOffice)--it might all be StarOffice for Windows that is being talked about here.
      • Also part of the story:
        "Because of Microsoft's dominance in both office and operating systems, several government institutions are working on creating alternatives, primarily the combination of Linux and StarOffice."

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/archive/24131 .html [theregister.co.uk] Seven Danish IT directors, including Lembøl, have got together under the auspices of the Association of Danish Municipalities, to investigate open source software packages as an alternative to Microsoft products. In particular, they are interested in StarOffice 6 (a full version of which is due in March) because of the potential savings it offers over Office 2000, and because it could be rolled out with minimum disruption. Moving to StarOffice could save roughly 100 per user annually in licensing charges, Lembøl estimates. Upon completion of a product evaluation, lasting between two to three months, of StarOffice 6, the group of seven managers plans to put forward recommendations to their peers in other municipal councils. The recommendations are not mandatory but the prospect of 275 municipalities with 55,000 desktops eyeing open source alternatives is unwelcome news for Microsoft. After completing an evaluation of StarOffice, Lembøl and his colleagues plan to evaluate Linux as a replacement for Windows 2000 on the server (and possibly desktop), though looking at an alternative to Office remains top of the agenda.
  • k12ltsp (Score:4, Informative)

    by OmegaGeek (586893) <robwall @ g m a i l.com> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:45AM (#4942993) Homepage

    Anyone interested in doing something along these lines, and avoiding M$'s protection racket ("y'know, for a few dollars a year per station, I could make sure that you don't get hassled by software license audits"), should check out k12ltsp.org [k12ltsp.org]. With corporate donation programs starting to pass along some decent hardware to schools, a kick-ass lab can be had for just the cost of the networking infrastructure.

  • Translation (Score:2, Redundant)

    by bstadil (7110)
    Here is a quick translation. Note that UNI-C stands for University of Copenhagen, I think.

    An agreement between silicon Valley based Sun Microsystems and UNI-C has resulted in a free available download of office suite 6.0 for all school pupils, teaches and students in general.

    Alternatively they can buy the program at cost , 10kr per unit. Schools can buy them in quantities of 50.

    Sun has made and agreement with UNI-C following the guidelines, that Secretary of Education Ulla Tørnæs (Liberal Party) published on October 30'th, for how educational institutions heeds to act when offered free office suites. One of the requirement is that like offerings impose no cost on the government and the UNI-C IT-Center for research and Education handles the distribution. UNI-C covers its cost thru the 10kr charge for the physical CD-Rom. Sun provides a server with the free Linux OS installed for the students and the teachers that wishes to download StarOffice 6.0.. UNI-C mission in life is to help the Danish educational area, so we are delighted to act as a go between for such an offering from Sun, states Dorte Olesen, Managing Director. for UNI-C.

    The worlds undisputed leader in office systems is Microsoft's Office, that does exist in a version that runs on the Linux OS.

    Due to Microsoft's dominant position of the Office productivity domain as well as the underlying OS is causing more and more public institutions to seek out alternatives. Primary the combination Linux and StarOffice.

    If all 1.1 million students , teachers uses the offering the combined value of the gift from Sun Microsystems will be around 200 million kroner.

  • "Sun has agreed to provide Staroffice for free, or on a CD-ROM for 10 Danish crowns ($1.5)."

    Wow...1.1 million kids are going to have to share one CD-Rom? Anybody have a couple hundred CD-R drives ready?
  • by imag0 (605684) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:00AM (#4943031) Homepage
    In a stunning speech a few hours ago, President George Bush declared Denmark a "den of malcontents and terrorists". And announcing to the UN in an emergency security session the need to: "bomb the hell out of them" for obvious stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and denying their people American software, goods and services.

    Denmark, whose main exports include those silly little wooden shoes and tulips, was unavailable for comment.

    In other news, Microsoft led a resounding stock rally.
  • For free software to skolebrug From KELD LOUIE PEDERSEN Denmark 11, millions skoleelever , students and teachers can be actually turn Microsoft Corporation the back. At least at a pinch kontorprogrammer. A agreement between Silicon Valley - the activity Sun Micrososystems Inc and UNI C implies , that country skoleelever , students and teachers for free can be downloads kontorprogrammet StarOffice 60 from Sun and freely put in that at their hjemmecomputer. Alternatively can be they purchase that at a CD ROM to absolute cost price : kr. a piece The schools can be purchase StarOffice to boxes à 50 piece. Sun has making the agreement by UNI C after they guideline , that undervisningsminister Ulla Tørnæs V ) published the 30. october by , how uddannelsesinstitutioner shall relationships themselves , catching they become quotation for free kontorprogrammer. Amid the demands is , that such softwaredonationer is all expenses paid by the commonwealth , and that UNI C Denmark IT - center by research and degree shall stand by the distribution from licenses. UNI C gets his spending overlayed via they kr , that the distribution from CD - Roman producing. Sun sets a servercomputer by that for free Linux oprativsystem at the disposal of they skoleelever , students and teachers , there hope that downloads StarOffice 60. UNI C is why to to be of use the danish uddannelsesverden , so vi is naturally pleased to could morning a such specifically initiative from Sun , says Dorte Olesen adm. dir by UNI C. Universe unconditionally best widespread kontorsystem is Microsoft Officer , there however no exist to a version , so that applies to the computer by Linux that executive program. On account of Microsofts dominans in såvel bureau - that the executive program works settled several public authorities at that give rise to alternatives primary the combination Linux and StarOffice. Of which all 11, millions skoleelever , students and teachers using themselves from the quotation , bishop the collected asset according to Sun Microsystems up to ca. 200 millions features. louiedk@jpdk

  • by saskboy (600063) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:07AM (#4943051) Homepage Journal
    There are all sorts of reasons to use Linux in schools. One being the Thin client model found at K 12 Linux [k12linux.org].
  • This is something that needs to happen on a larger scale here in the U.S. If Sun were smart, they'd provide obscenely cheap and even easier to install distributions for schools, churches, charities and students. Not that its not already out there - but I'm talking about some slick ad campaigns, seminars, tutorials and all sorts of stuff that would encourage the non /.'r to get out there and get it installed.

    Yeah, Apple has been trying to do this for years with their education program. Then again, they're not offering obscenely cheap software that is easy to install on donated Pentium III's.

    • Sun is smart - they are going to do this the right way. They are working on programs for education. It may be that they will release something around the same time Office 11 comes out.

      OpenOffice.org - the development platform for StarOffice is only at 1.0.1. It is stable (at least for us), but there are still a few issues to resolve. Not the least of which is a usable version for the Mac. This is probably part of the reason they are waiting as many schools do use Apple (although these are decreasing).

      Our school jumped on the bandwagon while OpenOffice.org was still in beta. We completely converted to Open/StarOffice last year. I think that part of this push (when it happens), should also center around competition. It should go something like this:

      "How many of your tax dollars go to your local schools? How much of that goes to Microsoft? You might be surprised..."

      Offer StarOffice for cost of media, give OpenOffice.org to the students / parents on request and you've got a winner.

  • by pyman (610707) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:21AM (#4943105) Homepage
    The article talks about schools switching to StarOffice.

    It does not mention anything about schools switching to Linux.

    • It points out both that MS Office doesn't run on Linux (why would it be relevant that StarOffice runs on Linux unless they're considering moving to Linux?)

      And in the next paragraph it says that several public institutions are working to move from MS products (Windows/Office), primarily to Linux/StarOffice.

      What it all leads up to is that this application is ready to move to Linux. Of course that doesn't mean that other software might hold them back on Windows.

      Kjella
  • Don't get me wrong the LTSP stuff is great but to hard to manage in my experience. If you wish to deploy the linux desktop load a bare minimum install to the client (yes that means you need a drive in the machine). Use a redhat kickstart to install the clients. The kickstart install should replace the inittab with one pointing x windows at your terminal server. Most all refurb and currently installed clients have drives anyhow. Now on the server the only thing to do is turn on XDM and you have a full up system

    LTSP requires a ton of configuration and requires boot rom's and nfs to mount root drives. This is to many pieces and parts to fail. I run hundred's of clients in this fashion and it requires darn near 0 effort to maintain by the sysadmin.

  • If ony something like this were to happen here in Slovenia, where schools seem to be owned by Microsoft.

    Even people graduating from CS hardly konw Linux even exists. And those who do, usually drop out of college during first 2 years. That's what I did...
  • by bolind (33496) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:45AM (#4943213) Homepage
    Hi,

    I'm from Denmark, I can read the article, so I figured I'd clear up a few things:

    An entity, which is called UNI-C, has reached an agreement with Sun Microsystems about distribution of their StarOffice package. Schools, teachers and students will be able to get the software for free if they download it (from a linux server, running on the danish school network known as Sektornet) or for a fee of ~ $1.50 on a CD.

    UNI-C is a semigovermental entity, that does networking for the public school system and the universities, hosts the DIX (Danish Internet eXchange) and things like that. Danish law says, that for a public school to accept free software, the software must be of no expense to the state, and its ditribution must be handled by UNI-C.

    So, in conclusion, no, every school in Denmark is not switching to Linux. They may switch to StarOffice, on some platform.

    But hey, it's a step in the right direction...

    Oh, and merry x-mas everyone.

    Bo
  • by phkamp (524380) on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:42AM (#4943317) Homepage
    I'm Danish, so let me sort out a bunch of misunderstandings about this:

    UNI-C [uni-c.dk] is not "University of Copenhagen". It is a state-run pseudo-company which offers IT/networking facilities for the educational sector. Amongst other things they host the Danish Internet eXchange (DIX [www.dix.dk]") where ISPs can peer on neutral ground, and they offer a free life-time email-address to all danish teachers.

    There's not a word about Linux in this anywhere.

    Sun has offered StarOffice at a hefty educational discount. UNI-C helps them implement the scheme in a manner which saves Sun a lot of logistics.

    There has been increasing focus on Open Source in Denmark recently, ignited by a independent report [teknologiraadet.dk] which concluded that if the political goals about using the Internet to improve the public sector are to be fulfilled, one can do so $500M cheaper over the next 10 years using Open Source than M$ software.

    M$ is not happy about this, but their FUD doesn't seem to stick anymore.

    A single Danish city-council, Hanstholm [hanstholm.dk], has taken a bold step and switched to StarOffice, and they're getting a lot of positive attention. (If you want to hear more about this, attend Nordu2003 [nordu.org])

    Yes, I think this is all signs of a healty development :-)

  • I just want to comment that the article doesn't say that all schools in Denmark are switching to Linux. what it says is that Sun has donated Star Office to the schools in Denmark and set up a server where the schools can download it for free. Sun has estimated the value of this donation to 200 million Danish Crowns (more than 20 million US Dollars) if ALL students use the software. It does also give the possibility to use Linux. The article does also say that Danish authorities may use Linux + Star Office as an alternative.
  • "Sun has agreed to provide Staroffice for free, or on a CD-ROM for 10 Danish crowns ($1.5)."

    And how, exactly, is this dumping any different than the tactics Microsoft uses?
    • Sun doesn't have a monopoly, so they're allowed to give their stuff away. Microsoft's tactics were illegal because they held a monopoly (which is legal), but then took actions (ie bundling IE) to maintain their monopoly (which is illegal).

      IANAL, by the way.

      • Sun does have a monopoly over their products, but that's neither here nor there; and I would like to point out that MS had DOJ permission to do those things in advance, then the DOJ miraculously changed its mind. Which is probably why MS keeps winning in court. It all stems back to the DOJ letter they received granting permission.

        Every producer has a monopoly over their products, be it Office, Solaris, Paradox, or Access. Just like in Highlander, there can be only one (who gets the right to maintain the product, licensing aside.)
        • "Every producer has a monopoly over their products, be it Office, Solaris, Paradox, or Access. Just like in Highlander, there can be only one (who gets the right to maintain the product, licensing aside.)"

          Methinks you misunderstand what a monopoly is, at least legally. Making a unique product that no one else has or can sell is NOT a monopoly. It is legitimate competition. But any entity controlling a specific market segment to the point where that segment cannot reasonably be called competitive IS a monopoly.

          Microsoft has been found, despite using every delay tactic and technicality money could buy, to have a monopoly in the desktop OS market. You may disagree with this conclusion, but it is a legal FACT.

          Monopolies are not illegal-- but EXTENDING them, as the previous poster pointed out, by using the monopoly to freeze competition in market segments which are not yet monopolized, IS illegal.

          This is why MS's giving away and embedding IE in its OS was illegal.

          It is also why Sun giving away its office suite is not.

          • "This is why MS's giving away and embedding IE in its OS was illegal."

            Not according to the DOJ letter dated prior to Windows 95's release. It was after Windows 98 came out that the DOJ pitched a fit.

            And, just so you know, I DO know what a Monopoly is, I simply use the standard definition of Monopoly that the average Slashdotter uses when yapping about MS' evil tactics.
            • You obviously don't know what a monopoly is, otherwise you wouldn't have said that "Sun has a monopoly over its own products", which doesn't mean anything.


              As for this letter, do you think that Judge Jackson didn't know about it? All the evidence was considered, and the Judge, notwithstanding his rather foolish comments to journalists, found Microsoft to be illegally attempting to extend their monopoly. There's really no point debating this issue.

  • 1.1 million students

    Wow. I didn't realize Denmark was so small. Here in the US, cities like Chicago, LA, and New York probably have that many students in their school districts. I wonder if any of them would consider switching to Linux? It would save them a ton of money if they had good Linux administrators.

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