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SuSE Businesses Education Software Linux

Linux Desktops in New Zealand Schools 280

Posted by timothy
from the long-term-thinking dept.
nigelr writes "The New Zealand Ministry of Education has signed a deal with Novell New Zealand to provide SUSE Linux desktop licenses in schools. The article claims that while the price for a desktop license now matches what Microsoft charge, the new deal will significantly reduce the over all cost due to reduced charges for existing Novell products used in schools around the country."
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Linux Desktops in New Zealand Schools

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  • Isn't the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by utnow (808790)
    of Linux that it's free and all that jazz? I mean... paying for it takes away a whole lot of the attractiveness IMHO.
    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:05AM (#13111471)
      Linux is free. Support isn't. And if I was running a school, I would surley want somebody to yell at when things go foobar.
      • by lxs (131946) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:04AM (#13111656)
        And if I was running a school, I would surley want somebody to yell at when things go foobar.

        Isn't that what students are for?
      • And if I was running a school, I would surley want somebody to yell at when things go foobar.

        And if my name was Shirley, I'd surely be surly that you couldn't spell it. But because it's not, I'll suggest that maybe it's a good thing you're not running a school.
        • How is this supposed to add any value?
      • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elronxenu (117773) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:26AM (#13112084) Homepage
        The person responsible is your computer/network administrator, and nobody else. So if you must yell, yell at them.

        I find it bizarre that people believe there needs to be some vendor at whom they can yell / complain / sue. If you're buying from IBM and paying top dollar for a support contract then you can expect IBM to guarantee that their program works, up to the point of writing and rolling out to you a fix specific to your particular problem.

        But if you're buying from Microsoft, you won't get that kind of support. You'll get a telephone representative who'll help you to understand that the program works the way Microsoft wants it to work, and you have to work that way if you want the program to work. You'll be paying by the minute for that advice.

        Nine times out of ten though, if your system goes fubar it's because "you" have fu'ed it. Complaining to a vendor won't accomplish anything.

        • Re:Isn't the point (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KingJackaL (871276)
          While I agree that having somebody to yell at is bizarre - I think it may be you that has missed the point. I know (being a sys admin myself) that we don't pay for (normally minimal, but often at least some) support so we can yell at the support from vendors. We pay for support so that we can access their knowledge and resources - tips on installation and configuration issues that would otherwise just add hours here and there (costing money); as well as somebody that's probably heard of most of the common
          • Re:Isn't the point (Score:3, Interesting)

            by elronxenu (117773)
            Support to get installation tips and configuration issues is very different from support to fix broken products. If things went fubar that would be a "broken product" situation. And yelling at support staff will receive an equally cold reception whether it's windows or linux.

            Anyway contracted support for linux installations can be purchased from any number of companies and the great thing is that, unlike with windows sites, support companies have the possibility of fixing bugs (if not necessarily the skil

    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ByeLaw (186453)
      So Novell is suppose to support it for free then?
    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:08AM (#13111487) Homepage Journal
      Well, part of what they're paying for is the support.

      And as it is Linux on the desktop we're talking about, they'll be using that a great deal.

      • Only because it's a bit different than what they're used to.

        I've pushed most of my recent roommates over to Linux. I'd get a month or so of extra questions about "how do I do this?" and "what program does this function?", then things go real quiet.

        After a couple of months of abject silence, I then get questions like: "What are some good Linux advocacy sites", and "Could you just remove my Windows partition?".

        I still haven't gotten used to the fact that the silence implies that they've actually se

      • [grr: meant to use 'preview']
        And as it is Linux on the desktop we're talking about, they'll be using that [support] a great deal.

        Only for the first couple of months, and then Only because it's a bit different than what they're used to.

        I've pushed most of my recent roommates over to Linux. I'd get a month or so of extra questions about "how do I do this?" and "what program does this function?", then things go real quiet.

        After a couple of months of abject silence, I then get questions like: "What

    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:12AM (#13111496) Homepage
      Well sure it can be free. Sex can be free too, but as those here on Slashdot certainly understand, it is sometimes just easier to pay for somebody to supply it rather than go through all the trouble of figuring out how to do it the free way. I mean if you can get it for free more power to you, but don't hold it against those who need a little help and support.
      • by HerbieStone (64244) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:19AM (#13111696) Homepage
        Pretty amazing this got moded as Insightful and not as Funny. Is it common among Slashdotters to pay for sex?
      • Another analogy which follows out of this is:
        If paid sex is illegal in certain countries, is paying for this kind of support then legal??
      • by Trelane (16124) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:30AM (#13113254) Journal
        Sex can be free too
        You see, sex isn't generally free. You're not really taking all the factors into account when calculating your TCI (Total Cost of Intercourse). While certainly it can be, if J. Random Girl and J. Random Dude merely run into each other and throw themselves on the floor and go at it, generally it takes a great deal of cultivation on the part of the male (and also the female, though I'm much less used to that perspective, so here's the male perspective). For instance, did you take into account the days you've waited to approach J. Random Girl, and plotted how to best go about it for minimizing rejection? How about all those dates where you gallantly paid for the check? Or, even more casually, for a one-night stand, while smaller than the Full-On Relationship, you generally must first have an expenditure of effort for the approach, buying her drinks, etc. Now, on the full extremum, conservatives like myself who wish to have Free Sex only after marriage must account for many months, even years of dedicated effort and direct monetary expenditure in order to even begin to have Free Sex (what is the vendor lockin cost of Free Sex with a Wife? How do you account for locking yourself down to a single Sexual Vendor?). And, as all of you are no doubt aware, the TCI is even higher for a Relationship scenario, since acquiring Free Sex also requires regular maintenance of the relationship (again effort and cash (for sacrificial flora, for example)), in addition to effort involved in getting J. Random Girl relaxed enough to even contemplate having sex!

        So, in conclusion, generally sex is not free when you account for the entire TCI!

    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Informative)

      by lasindi (770329) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:24AM (#13111539) Homepage
      Isn't the point of Linux that it's free and all that jazz? I mean... paying for it takes away a whole lot of the attractiveness IMHO.

      If you mean that it's free in the sense of it not costing any money, no, that's not the point. The point of the operating system that it's been bundled with, GNU, was to provide a "free" OS in the sense that the user could do whatever he wished with it, i.e. modify it and share it with others. The sharing aspect means that it's very easy to obtain without paying for it, but that wasn't the purpose. I paid for my copy of GNU/Linux. Why? I like Linux in large part because the source code is accessible, and I think good work deserves good pay.

      Freeware (in the sense of cost) has always been around in great quantity. What makes open source programs different is the *open source code*, not the fact that you can download it for free.
    • Re:Isn't the point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TuataraShoes (600303) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:39AM (#13111571)
      Why is it so difficult, even for some on /. to grasp the difference between free and free.

      Gratis versus Libre [wikipedia.org]

      • You have free speech, but still have to buy your own microphone.
      • You are free to travel, but buy your own ticket.
      • You're free to choose, but pay the expenses of your own distro.
      Supporting thousands of kids on desktops costs something. If you don't think so, then you try it. So who should carry the cost? These are state schools, the tax payer pays.

      Businesses may at times contribute, but that tends to lead to businesses wanting something back. Microsoft is happy to negotiate with schools. All they want is that the school perpetuates Microsoft's desktop monopoly.

      So the freedom we need is the practical freedom to educate kids without the curriculum being written by the mega-multi-nationals.
      • Why is it so difficult, even for some on /. to grasp the difference between free and free.

        Let's play fill-in-the-blanks:

        Why is it so difficult, even for some on /., to grasp the difference between colorful and colorful?

        Why is it so difficult, even for some on /., to grasp the difference between bad and bad?

        Why is it so difficult, even for some on /., to grasp the difference between blue and blue?
    • Although the software may cost about the same as Windows or less, they get freedom, no file format lock-in, more flexible licenses and most importantly less viruses.

      You can get and deploy free Linux in a school if you admin guys are unix gods, but I'd imagine most admin guys in schools struggle with Windows. Hence when something isn't playing ball they need a number to phone to bitch at someone.
    • That's because the article applies the inappropriate term of "desktop license" to the software. The software license is the GPL. Period.

      What the school is paying for is support. If the school wanted to support its own desktops, then there would be no money that would have to be paid to Novell regardless of the number of copies the school installed on their desktops.

      Repeat after me: The software is licensed under the GPL. There is no per-copy licensing fee for the software.
  • Question.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:06AM (#13111478)
    Why are they using a distro that has licensing fees at all? I mean, if you're going to migrate to Linux, why wouldn't you choose a free distro like Ubuntu, and if you needed support you could always urchase it from Canonical...

    Not meant as a troll, or even "Distro X > Distro Y", but I don't see what it would be about SuSE that would make New Zealand schools choose them.

    PLUS, if they're just now reaching the prices that microsoft charges... why change? You're not saving any money at this point, and you have the costs of migrating everything. I can see if the Linux migration was to free licenses, but "hey, its the same price!" wouldn't make me jump on the Linux boat.
    • by Hosiah (849792)
      Quick! Somebody push another Linux distro to number one! I can't take the cult rattling their tambourines and chanting "Ubuntu" anymore!!!
    • Re:Question.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by germ!nation (764234) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:16AM (#13111511)
      Clearly you didn't even read the whole summing up, let alone the article.

      They are paying the same price for their desktops but as part of that their single license with Novell means that whatever else they are using (Zenworks, Netware or whatever) costs are greatly reduced. Good use of purchasing power IMO.
    • Re:Question.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ne0n (884282)
      There's a humongous difference between an unmanaged desktop on your home computer, and a networked school setup wherein each machine must be locked down and centrally managed. Plus, if you RTFA (or even the synopsis) the schools are getting a good discount on Novell software already in widespread use.
    • Why are they using a distro that has licensing fees at all? I mean, if you're going to migrate to Linux, why wouldn't you choose a free distro like Ubuntu, and if you needed support you could always urchase it from Canonical...

      What kind of support infrastructure does Canonical have in New Zealand?

      What does Novell have, for its Linux products?

      What does Red Hat Asia Pacific have?

    • Re:Question.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by krinkelkrok (899514)
      Many schools in Norway have been running School Linux [skolelinux.org] for some years now. This is actually quite a bit cheaper than this commercial solution - built by the community. But this have given some headache for many teachers, who find the technology complicated and not so intuitive as Microsoft's products. Confused teachers are bad teachers. I'm not sure saving money on technical solutions is the best way to educate our kids.
    • Re:Question.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iamwahoo2 (594922)
      Good question, here is what I expect the answer is:

      1. Canonical may actually charge more for support. Novell may be taking a loss on this as is because they have to compete with the special educational rates that Microsoft has for Windows and Office. I am not sure what this cost is, but I know it is significantly less. Additionally, the ability to provide support is going to depend on the location of offices. If Novell has an office in New Zealand, they are at an advantage for no other reasons than the fac

    • Why are they using a distro that has licensing fees at all? I mean, if you're going to migrate to Linux, why wouldn't you choose a free distro like Ubuntu, and if you needed support you could always urchase it from Canonical...

      I suspect that it's because a free distro cannot easily jump though a purchasing department's hoops. Who's going to put in a bid? Who finds it worthwhile to put forth a dossier promoting something that is free?

      Free is not a concept that the commercial world really knows how

  • by waferhead (557795) <waferhead AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:08AM (#13111483)
    When the guru tried to give it away for free, he was ignored.

    When he started SELLING "training" for insane prices, it became all the rage.
    • I'd say it has more to do with the way all large bureaucracies run. Using free (as in beer) software would means reducing the budget, as you spend less. Surely you wouldn't want it to happen to you?
  • Bugger! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:08AM (#13111485)
    As a kiwi student, I'm saddened by this news,
    my hacking of unsecure school network systems days are over :-(

    But on the otherhand it is good to see the playing field levelled.
    • by lheal (86013)
      you can take this opportunity to really take over.

      Become the guru. Do a little social engineering on the sysadmin (i.e., suck up like a groupie). Tell them you want to be like them when you get out of school - but how will you learn?

      You'll rule.

  • Additional Coverage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zaguar (881743) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:17AM (#13111517)
    More reports:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/home/column_article.asp?id=12 417&cid=3 [nbr.co.nz]

    My take - I'm a student at Perth, Western Australia. My school recently got a whole bunch of iMac G5's, and Panther, and they are a nice set of machines. I run a heavily customized ubuntu/Gnome 2.10 setup at home and I would have to say that OS X is all that it's cracked up to be. It has a great interface and file/folder management system (finder), is stable, and seems to be easy to administrate (given that the sysadmins seem to do little work :D).

    It's a great choice for a school desktop, due to it's ease of use and solid support base. I use Linux at home and prefer it's data management capabilities, but there will always be a place for OS X in my heart.

    At least until the GNOME team creates an expose-like function

    • It has a great interface and file/folder management system (finder), is stable, and seems to be easy to administrate (given that the sysadmins seem to do little work :D).

      Crikey, if you think Finder is stable and "great", I'd hate to see what you call "bad" :).

    • ``At least until the GNOME team creates an expose-like function''

      You mean like expocity [pycage.de]? Expose for Metacity, which I think is the current GNOME Window manager.

      I haven't used it myself, so I don't know how good or bad it is. I'm a keyboard junkie. ;-)
    • It has a great interface and file/folder management system (finder)

      You *like* the OS X Finder?

      Holy shit, you should have seen the Finder we had in MacOS 9... you'd be pissing your pants with excitement.

      I guess in a world of 6 billion people, there has to be at least one who would like the OS X Finder...
      • I've had to use OS X Macs locked down in a school setting. Not too surprisenly, access is denied to all the Unix-y bits. No terminals, no X-Windows, no bash, no SSH, no FTP, no emacs, no vi, no bash, no csh, none of it. And finding myself stuck with just the Apple bits of OSX, I found it nothing special. Essentially a really bad way of navigating the file system (the finder) combined with a lousy way to manage windows and launch applications (the dock), combined with a hack to try to make it useable (e
  • by Jerle0 (899471) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:20AM (#13111530) Homepage
    The problem is, no matter what kind of platform you use, the ease of maintenance has a pretty big impact on how much it costs. The 'free' part of Linux is nice for individual users or companies who have full-time IT staff, but for a school I think using a distro where they get support is a good choice. School IT staff is usually running tight as it is. Plus, now those kids will have a chance to learn something besides Windows at a younger age. I'm sure they'll get Windows exposeure elsewhere, so now they won't be locked into the 'Windows is all that I know, so let's use windows' pattern later.
    • by SpottedKuh (855161) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:31AM (#13111559)
      The problem is, no matter what kind of platform you use, the ease of maintenance has a pretty big impact on how much it costs. The 'free' part of Linux is nice for individual users or companies who have full-time IT staff, but for a school I think using a distro where they get support is a good choice.

      The parent is bang on here. I can't say anything for how the system works in New Zealand, but I do recall my days as a high school student in Alberta, Canada. In my high school, the technical support staff were not permanent staff working at the high school -- heck, they weren't even government employees. They were simply tech support guys from a local company that were hired as the need arose to come into the school and fix up problems.

      So, you have to remember -- each tech problem == cost to the school. Hence, if the schools can get a distro that offers tech support as part of its one-time up-front charge, this could translate into savings for the schools (especially during the first year or two, when the transition from Windows to Linux is being made -- quite frankly, no matter how easy different distros try to make that transition, there are always bumps that show up, where your average school librarian will need tech support help!)
  • by TuataraShoes (600303) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:24AM (#13111540)
    In a few years, people will no longer be saying, "everyone knows Windows... we expect new employees to know Windoze... it would cost too much to re-train our staff who only know Whindoes..."

    It's the beginning of the end of the desktop monopoly. Kids will no longer be programmed with a view to maintaining the power structures of the status quo.
    • It is an important point to start at the schools. In the past however companies pushed windows into the schools. In the start we didn't work with windows, but with Mac and some other odd (I do not remember the names anymore) systems.

      The only question I have since I am very familiar with the school market in the Netherlands, is the following:
      Do New Zealand schools not suffer under a random set of badly written windows programs which they call there teaching method? This is really blocking all migration op
      • Do New Zealand schools not suffer under a random set of badly written windows programs which they call there teaching method?
        When I was in a New Zealand school, we had Apple ][, and the only educational software was Lode Runner, Castle Wolfenstein (the original - none of this 3D rubbish) and pong. There may have been something else, I don't remember.
      • The only computers I ever saw in school from first grade through highschool were Macs and Commodores. Yet everyone uses Microsoft. So the idea that people will use what they are familiar with from school doesn't hold water. Since most schools didn't have Microsoft machines until at least the mid 1990s, you would then expect everyone today to be using Apple rather than Microsoft.
    • It's the beginning of the end of the desktop monopoly. Kids will no longer be programmed with a view to maintaining the power structures of the status quo.

      Right, because then everyone would be saying "everyone knows KDE... we expect new employees to know KDE".
      I think the general problem is that the populace just doesn't know enough about general functions of the computer, and instead have just familiarized themselves with whatever interface they use (be it the Windows interface, the OS X interface, KDE in
      • I think the general problem is that the populace just doesn't know enough about general functions of the computer, and instead have just familiarized themselves with whatever interface they use

        Exactly. The only way your going to get around that is to introduce people to a variety of computer systems.

        When I was in school, I had access to a wide variety of systems -- Apple IIe, IIgs, Mac classic, Commodore (various models), DOS, Windows 3.0/3.1, Windows 95.

        Today, so many of the schools I visit have sta
  • by slot32 (815657) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:31AM (#13111558) Homepage
    There's a big underswell push for Linux in schools happening around the UK too...

    Times Educational Suppliment ran it a few weeks ago. You needed the paper version for the full article but this is a good summary and primer: http://www.tes.co.uk/2094985 [tes.co.uk]

    Now... Can everyone who has kids in the UK start asking the teachers about this at their next school visit?

    It's a pretty well known fact that if you TEACH *CHILDREN* to use Linux and not Windows from the start, it will filter up through the years and (with any luck) become the system of choice in the home too... Then the last 'bastion' will be industry... and with 1000's of up and coming children leaving schools with skills fully developed in Linux, the old excuse of 'training' kinda starts working against Microsoft. 'Cause none of the kids use it (nor want to). It's the same trick Microsoft used (Free O/S etc for schools).

    Hope I haven't failed to explain in enough detail all of this, and you can all 'join the dots' and see where this might be going.

    So... Start hassling your teachers NOW. I personally *am* getting involved in a new school to get all their computers on Linux from the start. When it opens in September.

    If you're *serious* about wanting to see a less monopolostic computing environment, but don't know where you should put your effort in to help... This is the place... IMO
    • If you want a bit more information on the BECTA reports in this area go to:

      http://www.becta.org.uk/leas/display.cfm?section=1 4_9_1 [becta.org.uk]

      This gives a lot more information than the short summary in the on-line Times Eudcational Supplement. As well as hassling the teachers (I hope your being a little facetious using the term "hassle") it's a good idea to approach any councillors who sit on the LEAs education committee, the LEA itself and, of course, the school governors. But before you do anything else speak t
    • I could not agree more with this post.
      Part of MS' success was IBM's failure to engage "the lower end of the market" with OS2. Anyone on a budget (ie student like me at the time) had to use Windows. IBM concentrated on blue-chip corporate accounts where desktop OS2 deployment was heavily leveraged in Mainframe and AS400 installations.
      (I kinda know - I worked for IBM UK in the mid 90's).

      What IBM failed to realise was that today's kids have a habit of becoming tomorrow's IT directors. For a lot of them, IT==w
  • by Volvogga (867092) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:36AM (#13111568)
    The Novell deals lets schools buy software for the same cost as Microsoft products, about $99 per product per server for a year-long licence.

    This is a strange statement, due to TFA later saying the following:

    The ministry won't comment on the cost of the contract.

    Further investigation to this shows the following server costs from Novell's site:

    http://www.novell.com/products/linuxenterpriseserv er/pricing.html [novell.com]

    These are all non-haggled prices, too. There is nothing on there for $99, and I wouldn't think that they would be buying new servers just to change over the OS. Elseware I saw that these prices are supposed to include one year of matenence as well. Either I really missed something, or there is a flaw in Mr. Schwarz's journalism. Anybody have any insite into this little paradox?
    • by hdparm (575302) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:55AM (#13111799) Homepage
      These deals are not made on a per-server or per-desktop pricing. Everybody knew the price tag for MS contract - NZ$50 mil. over two years, which gave right to schools to use unlimited number of Windows computers (server and desktop) and limited (I don't know to which exact number) number of MS Office installs. For MOE this was peanuts, for MS - fuck all, in money terms. However, MOE and schools were free from bootleg software headaches for two years and MS extended their lock-in a little bit longer.

      Now, they claim the same licensing cost for Novell solution but I reckon everybody is getting better deal out of it - Novell makes a buck, MOE looks cool, schools are getting good software and more importantly support, thing that Microsoft always includes in cost but never actually provides.

      In short, my not too wild guess is: price is $50 mil / 2 years, the only difference between vendors is that Novell guys are happy to do some work, too.

  • SuSe, why not? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 4v4l0n42 (897836) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:42AM (#13111576) Homepage

    I guess the point here is that instead of having a solid Debian or a powerful Gentoo GNU/Linux, institution, companies, schools, prefer to have technical assistance and a commercial product in general, which will then be open source.

    Do not forget that together with the SuSe package (that I do not really like myself) it comes a very well organized guide oriented for that distribution in particular, plus they have a phone number to call if they want professional help.

    On the other hand, if the system adminnistrator was good enough to do everything in his own, he could have install e Debian through the whole netowrk, asking help to the community when needed. But that doesn't happen often, so you get these commercial packages.

    I do not think that this is a problem, as long as it is Linux and not some creepy linux-similar distribution with tons of closed source application is fine to me.

    Regards

    • Yes, you are completely right about the whole point of SuSe being chosen over other distros is the attractive support Novell are offering. This is a great opportunity for them to demonstrate that Linux can be used on the desktop AND that there is money to be made in FLOSS.

      Whoever modded you flamebait should be hit with a large fish.

  • For all we know (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mincognito (839071) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:46AM (#13111601)
    the contract could be for 500 Suse licenses -- like .0042% of New Zealand's 120,000 computers. The article doesn't say. Considering that the "three-year licensing contract with Microsoft, Apple and Computer Associates signed [by the ministry] last year was worth $27.5 million" there's no way Linux is going to be the primary desktop OS for NZ schools. At $99 a licence it would only take about $12 million of that $27.5 to make every one of those 120,000 computers a microsoft seat.
  • From TFA (this was news last week, but The Dominion Post are running it from the OSS angle rather than the business angle this time):

    The deal covers both open source and proprietary products from Novell. Proprietary products include Novell's Open Enterprise Server, asset management tool ZENworks, email and calendar program Groupwise and network security software BorderManager.

    It will be of much more advantage to the schools in NZ currently paying ~$13,000 annually to Novell for eDirectory licenses, and
  • by Gilesx (525831)
    It's excellent news to see that a future generation of Gnome users, and maybe even some Gnome hackers is forming in New Zealand!

    IMO, although this is a win for Novell and their distro, it's an even bigger win for the much maligned "simplification" policy that Ximian spearheaded for Gnome. Sure, there are other desktop environments with thousands of configuration options for just about everything, but at the end of the day, this is just further proof that the customise to the max design ethos just isn't pra
  • Sorry folks, but I don't get it yet. Reading even the article I don't know what they are talking about.

    Novell bought SUSE and now offers the following products:

    1. SUSE Linux Professional (which is the boxed product). This product is not supported, there is only a basic installation support available, but if you run into worse problems than its just bad luck for you. So if the article says "If schools want to have a Linux desktop now they can have one from a major international corporation with the suppor
  • The deal is certainly a very interesting option, but there are numerous problems to overcome:

    The educational space is very MS application specific, and I'm not joking about this.

    With the MS deal having appeared first, I discovered that naturally the school I started working at has a very tight W2k3 infrastructure, based around Active Directory ( not pretty, but it does work when you find out all the undocumented "features" ). Breaking this structure down to work with Linux boxes is currently not an optio
  • What about the apps? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kubasa (901210)
    I work in a medium size district in the US. We have approximately 12,000 students. One of my duties is to repackage software into an .msi format so it can be deployed throughout the district in a Windows environment. Currently we have about 120 different software apps that are used throughout all the grades. I have yet to see a piece of software come across my desk that has Linux listed under the system requirements. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see Linux in our district. It's my main OS at hom
  • As a former... (Score:4, Informative)

    by sc0ob5 (836562) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @09:52AM (#13112967)
    As a former high school network/systems administrator in Australia, this is great news. I worked at a government school and had a windows domain with a number of OSX labs and a couple of Linux servers. All this fuss about "support" is TOTAL claptrap, you want support with windows, it's google or nothing. The whole "support" thing is only for the bureaucrats. Accountability? well Microsoft deny they have any in their EULA. Basically the choices made in government (at least in Australia) from my experience is one of fear of change, even if it is for the better. Hopefully they hear about this in Australia's schooling system and start thinking about other options.

    Also novell was/is quite costly for schools, we were thinking of changing but the cost was just too great, if this new deal helps get more novell servers out there instead of windows servers I am all for it. But the real question is who really is going to support this? I mean you do need someone there that knows what they are doing I mean are you going to call novell every time you need a user created? A lot of the tech's that work at schools in Australia are just out of school and are in traineeships, who is going to teach them to use a Novell server or to configure a Linux desktop?

    at any rate I'm glad there is finally some action from the Novell front, quite possibly the only real chance for an alternative in the business and governement sector.

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

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