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Education Software Linux

Linux To Be Installed In Every Russian School 293

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-and-lots-of-penguins dept.
J_Omega writes "According to an article from last week at the Russian IT site CNews, Linux is slated to be installed in every Russian school by 2009. The article makes it appear that it will be going by the (unimaginative) name 'Russian OS.' As stated in the article: 'The main aim of the given work is to reduce dependence on foreign commercial software and provide education institutions with the possibility to choose whether to pay for commercial items or to use the software, provided by the government.' Initial testing installations are supposed to begin next year in select districts. Is 2008/09 the year of Linux on the (Russian) desktop?"
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Linux To Be Installed In Every Russian School

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  • This is potentially good for Linux and potentially bad for Internet banking.

    Let's teach all the russian kids how to hack. This is what we should be doing in the USA.
    • by eobanb (823187) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:45PM (#20712171) Homepage
      In Soviet Russia, Linux hacks you!
    • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:47PM (#20712197)
      Wait, how does Linux teach you how to hack? Is there a hacking man page that I've been missing? Maybe it is in /usr/share/hack or /usr/share/doc/hack? Never checked those directories my self. Or maybe with the latest wireless drivers the wireless car shoots needles into your brain, upload hacking knowledge directly.

      Your theories are fascinating indeed.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

        by mahmud (254877) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:53PM (#20712247)

        Wait, how does Linux teach you how to hack?
        By giving you more control of the OS internals, and by having a steeper usage learning curve.

        Once you become proficient in using Linux you are having a better understanding of OS and network internals than your Windows-using peers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by DaedalusHKX (660194)
          Yep, the only things Russian computers will have in "closed source" will be the monitoring and surveillance modules. Those will be copyrighted NSA/KGB 2.0 :)
        • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @02:51PM (#20713259)

          By giving you more control of the OS internals, and by having a steeper usage learning curve.

          Once you become proficient in using Linux you are having a better understanding of OS and network internals than your Windows-using peers.

          You're making it sound like most windows users are proficient in using Windows. Just because something is there doesn't mean that it's going to be used. In this case, just because the code is there for everyone doesn't mean that many of these students are going to dig around and play with the code. They're going to treat it just like they do when they use Windows.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MikeBabcock (65886)
            If in fact Windows users were all like that, I wouldn't have to fix so many computers. Unfortunately, computer users tend to be experimental, having no respect for how fragile their Windows PCs really are, and often break them by following directions in message boards and from friends on how to manually install some pirated software or CD imager, or play DivX movies, etc.

            On Linux, I've seen the same thing, but at a much more legitimate level (I believe), in fact I had a non-techy friend recently tell me he
            • by jc42 (318812)
              I explained how to copy the ".desktop" file from another program and edit it, and he started making icons for all the programs he didn't have icons for (many of which require command-line arguments, but oh well).

              Hmmm ... I'd never heard of .desktop files, so I used find(1) to hunt down all of them on a nearby linux machine. It found only one:
              ~/.kde/share/apps/RecentDocuments/.desktop
              That isn't a very big sample set, but of course I cat'd it:

              [Desktop Entry]
              Icon=folder
              Name=
              Type=Link
              URL=file://
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Tyr_7BE (461429)
            Most will treat it just like windows. But there's always going to be that small percentage who won't. They'll be interested in how the internals work, and if there's one thing Linux does great it's give you access to the guts of the OS.

            Consider that someone who is interested in hacking up an OS and seeing how it works has any number of ways to go about it on Linux, and pretty much nothing to go on with Windows.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          I think part of the cracking culture of some time ago was to break into systems more interesting than your own MSDOS box and look around. With linux you already have a more interesting box with more interesting bits that can be added than you can keep up with.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by kaizokuace (1082079)
          psshaw! Tux annoyingly pops up a-la Clippy and asks what you would like to hack depending on what you are doing.
          Tux: Are you trying to DDOS this page?
          Me: No Tux go away!
          Tux: Here are your options -
          1. DDOS attack
          2. ???!!?
          3. Profit!
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

        by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:06PM (#20712375) Journal

        Wait, how does Linux teach you how to hack? Is there a hacking man page that I've been missing? Maybe it is in /usr/share/hack or /usr/share/doc/hack? Never checked those directories my self.

        /usr/share/doc/howto/en/html/BackspaceDelete/morehack.html
        /usr/share/doc/howto/en/html/LVM-HOWTO/hackingcode.html
        /usr/share/doc/kernel/kernel-hacking.pdf
        /usr/share/doc/packages/fftw/README.hacks
        /usr/share/doc/packages/gnokii/gnokii-hackers-howto
        /usr/share/doc/packages/gnucash/guile-hackers.txt
        /usr/share/doc/packages/libquicktime-devel/hackersguide.txt
        /usr/share/doc/packages/ncurses/hackguide.doc
        /usr/share/doc/packages/ncurses/hackguide.html
        SCNR :-)
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arivanov (12034) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:30PM (#20712589) Homepage
        By giving you a system with a number of programming languages day one.

        If you have not noticed, may I remind you that windows have degenerated into a consumer device totally unusable for any computer science education without spending a significant amount of money and effort to install extra software. As a result Windows based computer literacy has long degenerated into mouse driven "button pushing".

        Linux ships with 4 high level computer languages useable out of the box in the base install - perl, python, C and C++. The rest are easily available as packages. As a result the environment to teach CS is already there. The likelihood that the kids will have at least some hacking skills is much higher as well.
        • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

          by moderatorrater (1095745) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:32PM (#20712617)

          Linux ships with 4 high level computer languages useable out of the box in the base install - perl, python, C and C++.
          Let's not forget PHP. No, seriously, guys, where are you going? Guys, come back!
        • You actually have to work to not install Ruby, emacs-lisp, Scheme and 3 different shell interperators in most linux distro's. Fortran and java slip in pretty quietly as well.
        • I don't know what distro you are using but in my experiance C/C++ compilers are usually not part of the default install (though they usually are on the disk). Python is indeed usually there unless you do a really minimal install and perl is basically irremovable at least in the debian based world.

          • What distro are you using that doesn't come with GCC?
            • neither debian or ubuntu has it in the default install. I'm pretty sure the fedora installer had a seperate option for development stuff too (which I selected) though i'm not an expert on the redhat side.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Raenex (947668)

          If you have not noticed, may I remind you that windows have degenerated into a consumer device totally unusable for any computer science education without spending a significant amount of money and effort to install extra software.

          That's bullshit. There are plenty of free developer tools for Windows that are easy to install and download, including for all the languages you named. Sometimes hacking is even easier on Windows that on Linux. That was certainly the case when I was messing around with Nintendo DS homebrew.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:55PM (#20712261) Journal

      This is potentially good for Linux and potentially bad for Internet banking.

      Let's teach all the russian kids how to hack. This is what we should be doing in the USA.

      Back when I was teaching, I did exactly that.

      I had a standing challenge that any kid who managed to pop any of my servers, and show/prove exactly how he or she did it, got a their overall grade bumped by one letter for that semester. The ground rules were simple: they could only break into a server that I controlled. I did it because 1) kids try for it out of curiousity anyway, and 2) they may as well be challenged to study than admonished into ignorance. I went out of my way to include security into the curricula whenever and wherever I could.

      Out of six years of teaching, only one student had managed it... he organized the local (Salt Lake City) 2600 chapter. Last I heard he was running his own security consulting firm.

      /P

      • by Nimey (114278)
        How'd he bust through your security?
    • The Russian Kids that want to hack, know how to hack and how to do it well. If they want to hack, they already have Linux installed because the only thing that embarrass a hacker more than failing to penetrate a target system it's getting his/her own machine p0wned in the attempt.
    • Yes, and out here in Germany we now by law are not allowed to do stuff like that anymore, on our way to the computational dark ages, so don't expect any German company to stop hacking attacks anymore, not allowed to use hacking tools ourselves. In fact, it's like being in a cold war and removing all your defense lines.

      Let me put it straight, I don't think all Russians are money-greedy hackers, in fact getting kids out there learn Linux will give them an advantage in lots of fields, so less need for crimin

    • This is bad? Seriously, there are more developers going in to Open Source Software. Who's to say that they don't care about security too. This is a good reason for the US Government to push OSS more, but this is not necessarily bad for security on our side, if we keep up. The US still has very good infrastructure, compared to our population, this has always been to our advantage.
  • Good for them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:43PM (#20712139) Homepage
    I fully encourage any and all large organizations ( like a government ) to move to an OS that suits their needs, or can be tailored as such.

    With the hopeful side effect, of course, of a more robust OS for all others involved. Given russia's rather lax attitude towards IP ( which I can't fault them in ), it's questionable whether we will see changes committed back to the tree. But here's hoping!
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Would they have to? With the GPL, if you make changes and distribute the software to an outside entity, you have to make the source code available. However, if you are a corporation, and make a bunch of changes to some GPL product, but only use it internally within you're corporation, you aren't required to release any of the changes. So if the Russian government makes a bunch of changes but only releases it to be used by government controlled entities such as schools, government offices, police, and mili
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kryten_nl (863119)
        It wouldn't be helpful if a school-OS wasn't available for students to use at home. So I think the source will be distributed. If it comes with a localized version of Pidgin (or other IM software), it might even become a serious Windows rival.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kebes (861706) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:04PM (#20712351) Journal

      Given russia's rather lax attitude towards IP ( which I can't fault them in ), it's questionable whether we will see changes committed back to the tree. But here's hoping!
      Well, there's a difference between the Russian government, the Russian corporate sector, and the Russian people. Lax copyright enforcement merely means that it will be difficult to prevent commercial entities in Russia from creative closed-source forks of GPL software (or, conversely, that it will be difficult to induce them to contribute code improvements). But, really, companies that don't want to contribute to open-source software have never been the primary source of code improvements.

      The primary source of code improvements is from enthusiasts, and from companies that understand the inherent advantages of building upon the FOSS software and the FOSS community. Both of these groups of people will operate in a lax-copyright regime much the same way they would elsewhere. Enthusiasts contribute to GPL projects not because of copyright law (or any other law) but because of a desire to be part of the process. Russian enthusiasts are no different than those from any other countries.

      On the commercial end, I suppose it's less likely that a company leveraging the GPL will appear in a place where copyright law isn't enforced. But, on the other hand, many companies do business internationally, so being based in Russia may have little effect on their code contributions to GPL projects, or their desire to leverage FOSS code in general (and contribute to said code).

      At the end of the day, from the "get more code" angle, having more people exposed to open-source software is always a good thing. The more people are involved, the more enthusiast coders you get, and the more community volunteers you get. Not to mention that when a large number of people are using FOSS software, companies will find it in their financial interest to support that software (in terms of hardware, software, and support), and even to support "the community." If Linux were truly widespread in Russia, I see no reason why companies wouldn't actively support FOSS with open-source code.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov (12034) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:51PM (#20712795) Homepage
      This has nothing to do with suiting needs or not.

      This is a reaction towards this long, protracted and phenomenally stupid lawsuit brought by the Russian branch of the BSA: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6499843.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      In brief: a school in the middle of nowhere was sold computers with pirated windows and office which they believed to be genuine. Instead of going after the manufacturer and the reseller the Russian branch of the BSA went after the headmaster of the school and tried to make him personally criminally responsible. he case got phenomenal adverse publicity and reached to the level of the both Putin and Gorbachev wading in and asking that the real culprit is prosecuted. Instead of that the idiots continued and even tried to invoke the MAFIAA favourite tool of WTO scaremongering.

      At this point the Russians did the very Russian thing of making a point in principle. Is the OS suited or not no longer matters in the slightest. They will simply no longer do educational business with Microsoft in principle and this is it.

      It is a part of Russian character - you may push them for a very long time and they will do nothing. At one point they will go into "Za nami Rodina, ni shagu nazad (Fatherland is behind us, no further steps back)". This is a point you simply do not want to reach when you negotiate with them and it was reached solely through the BSA stupidity.

      This also makes a major difference between the Russian case and similar situations in Asia a few years back. There Microsoft managed to defuse the situation through offering seriously discounted Windows and BilliGatus gifts to education and health. In this case this will not work. It is not a matter of money it is a matter of principle from now on.
      • Around here, there is only one principle: You're not allowed to have principles. They're provincial, prejudicial and bad for business.
      • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jc42 (318812) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @07:16PM (#20715423) Homepage Journal
        At this point the Russians did the very Russian thing of making a point in principle. Is the OS suited or not no longer matters in the slightest. They will simply no longer do educational business with Microsoft in principle and this is it.

        You may have a very good point. However, there's likely something else at work here: the widespread belief in Russia (and a lot of the world) about American software's role in that big explosion of a Siberian pipeline [msn.com] in the summer of 1982.

        Add to this the recent stories about Microsoft software that updates itself silently, even when you turn off the auto-update, and MS's explanation of why this is the right thing for them to do. A Russian administrator would have to be really stupid (or really on the take) to approve of anything from Microsoft. Granted, a lot of them may do so, but that's just evidence of how stupid (or on the take) they are. So part of the story might be that at the very top, Russian administrators no longer trust any software made in the USA.

        But with the BSA story, it does sorta sound like MS is trying its best to get Russians to buy from someone else.

  • by Adeptus_Luminati (634274) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:45PM (#20712159)
    Ok, every other week now for the past couple of years we read on slashdot "Government XYZ in country ABC is converting to Linux","Country XYZ schools in XYZ country mandate Linux be in classrooms", "Company DFG has migrated to Linux desktops", etc

    It'd be interesting to see some world maps showing which countries have massive deployments and when you mouse-over, it shows you the # population that is using Linux.

    Then we can turn to our bosses and say... "See!"

    Anybody up for the challenge?

    Adeptus
    • by TurboStar (712836) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @02:52PM (#20713275)
      Ok, I started one. Please come help with the data entry.
      http://www.listphile.com/Linux [listphile.com]
    • Would have to be one of those USB sticks. Can't imagine a CD fitting anywhere.
      Triple penetration would be Vista, Linux, BSD.
  • by Mr. Lwanga (872401)
    No "In Soviet Russia" jokes as FP?
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:47PM (#20712185) Journal
    I wonder how long it'll take before Mssr. Gates and his little charity swoops in and donates a universal XP license to all russian schools?

    /P

  • by jpetts (208163) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:48PM (#20712205)
    The software will be called ALTLinux. It is the typical lack of the use of articles in Russian which seems to be confusing the submitter. If written by an English author, the article would have started "A Russian OS...".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Marcion (876801)
      Yup I just had a fish through, and ALT Linux seems to be a Redhat recompile in the style of CentOS with some extra Russian documentation etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Nope. What you're talking about is ASP Linux. Alt linux is a complete-cycle distribution remotely based on mandrake and debian.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tropicdog (811766)
      Incorrect, you say:

      "The software will be called ALTLinux. It is the typical lack of the use of articles in Russian which seems to be confusing the submitter. If written by an English author, the article would have started "A Russian OS..."

      TFA actually says:

      "The Ministry of Communication Press Service explains the Ministry plans to install Russian OS and alternative program package in every Russian school. The dates to carry out tenders for OS development have not been announced yet, but the tenders a
      • No, what he means is that TFA has an incorrect translation from Russian, which was then picked up by Slashdot.

        In Russian there's no "the" article, so "the ministry plans to install the russian OS" would be written more like "ministry plans to install russian OS". That seems to have confused the translator, who understood "russian OS" as a product name instead of "russian-made OS".

    • by gr8dude (832945)

      The software will be called ALTLinux

      ALTLinux is a distro that exists for many years, they just decided they'll use THAT one because there is a Russian company behind it.
    • by J_Omega (709711)
      In my defense, being the submitter, the referenced source was written in English. Therefore, I'd like to place the blame on the author and/or translator. Furthermore, it seems to be the case that ALTLinux is only a contender for a distro that would be modified into the new education version - whatever that ends up being called.
    • That's GNU/Russian OS, damnit! It's what those commies at the FSF have always dreamed of.
  • by johnrpenner (40054) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:52PM (#20712235) Homepage

    this will just play into the hands of our detractors who can now claim that 'Open Source Really Is Like Communism' (never mind that it was invented by an American... ;-)

    at least i'm trying to be funny...

    j

    --
    open source -- in the long tradition of libraries, liberty, and threefolding [earthlink.net]...

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:54PM (#20712255)
    Vendekapetz blisitsa!

    (The end of Windows is getting closer!)
  • by Protonk (599901) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @12:55PM (#20712271) Homepage
    Price of a given software good too high for teachers to use it? Russian teachers have already tried pirating it, because the cost of an XP OS license is ridiculous in comparison to budgets for schools there, especially outside of moscow. Microsoft comes down like a ton of bricks on the teacher, so it becomes clear that this isn't a useful route for other teachers. The switch is made to an Os without license fees and distribution limitations.

    Microsoft could have solved this by lowering the price of XP for educators in russia enough so that it could have been meaningfully distributed around the country. But they didn't. Oh well.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      At the same time, I feel the government has been pushing the teacher ahead of them for brownie points. It's not like Putin and Russia are really that broke, they're creating the conditions these teachers have to live under. Like, we want XP on our computers but won't pay you for licenses, hint hint nudge nudge. It's a lot like employees of a corporation or officers in an army, even if you're not able to put the blame where it belongs you want to make damn sure that the next teacher will say "Sorry boss, won
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Microsoft could have solved this by lowering the price of XP for educators in russia enough so that it could have been meaningfully distributed around the country. But they didn't. Oh well.

      Maybe they're making Vista available cheaper in the hopes that they'll upgrade later.
  • The vast majority of Russian schools has pirated software installed. They can't afford to buy licenses for MS products, and frankly the government doesn't view it as a high priority either, Russia still doesn't respect copyrights too much. At the same time, they've been actually cracking down on pirates lately (due to international pressure, in part). So I expect that going Linux in schools is by far the easiest way of going legal in Russia - licenses are just really not an option.
    • After events like this case of Alexander Ponosov [iht.com] the choice is clear. If there is no money for licensing or your licensing vendor can't be trusted, there is no third choice. It's penguins or prisons.

      It is time that Russian schools recognized that prohibition doesn't work. All this what-about-the-children zero tolerance for freedom War On Penguins does is encourage crime and populate the prisons. When will US schools see the light?

  • by pluke (801200) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:02PM (#20712327) Homepage
    I've been trying to get the techies at my school to consider linux and open source for a while now. They are not interested, distrust things that are free and find it easier just to follow the commercial software peddled to them or recommended by the UK government's BECTA organisation. Maybe it takes a governmental decision to bring about change for the ill-informed schools. Well done Russia. In the mean time I'm trying to change their mind by giving the students copies of the OpenEducationCD and getting them to tell their teachers how they are finding it. www.theopencd.org/education
    • by jimicus (737525)
      I've been trying to get the techies at my school to consider linux and open source for a while now. They are not interested, distrust things that are free and find it easier just to follow the commercial software peddled to them or recommended by the UK government's BECTA organisation.

      I've worked as the techie in a school myself before. Most of my experience is a few years old but I understand very little has changed.
      • The Microsoft licensing for schools questionaire to work out how many licenses you need (c
  • by tsa (15680) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:05PM (#20712365) Homepage
    I think the importance of the penetration of Linux is overestimated. What is more important than the penetration of Linux, is the penetration of Open Source programs. We now have a few very succesfull Open Source programs that are useful for a lot of people: Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp, OpenOffice, and, to a lesser extent, Inkscape. They run on the three main operating systems: OSX, Linux, And Windows. The use of programs like the OpenOffice et al. ensures the use of open standards for documents, pictures, etc, which in the long run is much more important than which operating system is prevalent.
    • by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @02:11PM (#20712985) Homepage
      Yes, Linux is really important. Open standards are meaningless if a single dominant closed operating system can control and restrict every program that runs on the computer, and this is the direction in which Windows is going. If left unchallenged, it may not even be able to run open soure software [gnu.org], some years from now. Linux is essential in being that challenge.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by greenguy (162630)
        In the big picture, you are right. I run only Linux at home, and am pushing for it at work. But, most people in the general population think that Computer=Windows. The key, I believe, is not convincing them of the benefits of an open OS. That confuses them, which means it scares them. Rather, the way to go is open document formats. That "clicks" with people -- "Oh, yeah, this new Word format doesn't work on my home computer!" Then, when they feel at home with that, you can say to them, "So, how's Vista work
        • by jc42 (318812)
          But, most people in the general population think that Computer=Windows.

          You're making a common mistake here. To illustrate what it is, I'll just mention that on numerous occasions, I've got a lot of "Windows" diehards very confused when I show them my linux box, and point out that the screen is covered with "windows". Then I mention that there's nothing from Microsoft on the machine at all - but it obviously "runs windows", because you can see them on the screen. If I'm not near a non-MS computer, it some
      • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @06:57PM (#20715281) Homepage
        Oh, give me a break that's FUD and you know it. No, your open source programs may not be able to touch TC applications or TC data, but there's nothing inherently magic about open source code. To prevent open source you'd have to prevent any unsigned code, which would bring pretty much all of Windows development, proprietary, in education or otherwise to a screeching halt. That $600 million anti-trust fine would be a $6 billion fine if Microsoft ever tried to pull something like that. What is likely is that it'll be another Windows/IE/WMP/TC required lock-in, and maybe some very secure closed networks will refuse to let non-attestated machines on, which could be a good thing since MAC spoofing is trivial and bringing a hostile host on a network with stolen credentials is too easy. To think that your average residential ISP will give a shit about your Linux machine is tinfoil loony-bin scaremongering, and won't get you taken seriously anywhere.
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      hell yeah?

      Dunno about you but if you use open source software and open documents all is right, but there's no reason to keep paying for a "windows tax" in that case, a lot of people prefer open source but get locked into these proprietary operating systems for no more reason than a single software/hardware company that likes to pick platforms for their customers. We can only beat this by promoting an open source operating system, in this regards Linux, and a possible GPLed OpenSolaris are required, there

  • by Technician (215283) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:12PM (#20712425)
    It should make Microsoft very happy as Russia is a hotbed of pirated copies of Microsoft products. It is nice to see Russia taking a proactive step to combat international piracy.

    (*($%^%#%^-crash%%&(

    What is that sound from Redmond?
  • IMO the biggest driver of Linux on the Desktop is Microsoft and this article is but one example.

    Their combination of their recalcitrant anti-competitive behavior and anti-piracy lobbying prompts governments to seek alternatives, which drives wider Linux awareness as Linux is adopted by educational institutions. Their anti-piracy technologies essentially prevent many multi-computer households from upgrading making Linux as an alternative (for tech savy users) that much appealing. Their zeal to dominate every
  • Now you told Microsoft things will change rapidly. Soon to be announced, discounted copies of XP to every school in Russia.
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      You can't discount it much more than "free". But everyone in Russia as been getting pirated XP for "free" anyway. So price is obviously not the reasoning behind this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by budgenator (254554)
        At the risk of sounding trollish, but people have been getting Windows at no additional cost for a long time, and when you get something for "free" it's hard to get them to start paying for it. Now there isn't much purpose in buying a new computer, for all practical purposes a 5 y. o. computer is just as good as a new one, not like the old days when a 5 yo. computer was slow, so microsoft is in trouble now, they just aren't selling product to the OEM computer vendors and so aren't sell windows.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @01:36PM (#20712655) Journal
    Not going to happen. Russian goverment is strongly corrupted on all levels [wikipedia.org]. On the other hand, Microsoft has deep pockets, and little hesitation reaching into them in such cases.

    What's going to happen, most likely, is that they let the pilot programme run, and then buy sufficient amount of FUD-spreading from those involved to declare it unsuccessful, with a nice side-effect of discrediting the only competitor (Apple is not competitive in Russia - hardware pricing is way too high, and, perhaps, more importantly for education sector, their software is not localized for Russia).

    • by temcat (873475)
      Yes, what you describe is a very likely outcome. There already are some regional precedents to that effect (I believe exactly the same happened with ALTLinux in Volgograd).

      Also, this may be simply a PR move before the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections which will be quickly forgotten after the elections are over.
  • Jokes (Score:5, Funny)

    by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @04:17PM (#20713955) Homepage
    Congratulations, Slashdot trolls -- the "In Soviet Russia" jokes now write themselves.
  • "Lenix" (Score:4, Funny)

    by Aokubidaikon (942336) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @05:03PM (#20714373) Homepage
    Would get my vote! How about a poll on this, Slashdot!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    it's the all new and improved KGB Desktop Environment!
  • Misleading info (Score:3, Informative)

    by doktorstop (725614) on Saturday September 22, 2007 @06:15PM (#20714907) Homepage Journal
    That article, no matter what it claims, is totally misleading as, according to most other sources (namely gazeta.ru) this line of argumentation ("oh, we are going to build our own OS!") is solely used as a way to make a better deal with MS after the serie of busts in the russian schools using pirated copies of Windows. No matter what it does, the Russian Ministry of Education is not stupid.. they just want a better deal.
    • by LingNoi (1066278)
      I don't believe you.

      After what happened to that teacher that was going to get sent to a Serbian prison camp for having 10 unlicensed copies of XP at his school and the fact that Microsoft is an American company I don't believe that Russia would EVER want to use Microsoft's products.
  • I wondered why no one had asked this...

    Rubuntu? Rentoo? Rudora?!

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