Novell is apparently becoming the leader in Linux installations for the education market:
Do these numbers make sense to you – $2,500 versus $100,000? This is the price difference felt between migrating over to Linux or instead, upgrading to the next version of Windows. What’s interesting is that I’m noticing that more often than not Novell is the company making this possible for schools.
I’ve recommended open source for our schools before, and even sent a letter to the Ministers of Finance and Education at the time, but to no avail. These cost savings are significant, but what is more important is that our education community can now own the primary means of production (operating system & applications) of knowledge artifacts, and not some multinational corporation. Students would be able to freely mirror their school computers and even play with new programs. Instead of just being consumers and users of software, students can become co-creators of software and the underlying knowledge.
With corporations like Novell behind Linux, it is difficult for education IT departments to continue to play the FUD [fear, uncertainty, doubt] card against open source. However, as Matt Asay reminds us, MS is not out of the game yet, “Importantly, the price comparison above may not be representative of reality, as Microsoft will likely discount to zero to keep a strong foothold in the Education market. ”
The bottom line though, is that open source in our government-funded institutions is one way to develop a sustainable Province, something that our Self-Sufficiency Task Force should know.