Education Ministry encourages Open Source use

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The department at the French Ministry of Education that is handling purchasing of software and software licenses is increasing its Open Source offerings to some 1.5 million teachers and education workers in 250 institutes France.

This is how Dominique Verez, spokesperson for the 'Software Group for Higher Education and Research', explains a recent agreement it signed with Mandriva, a French company developing a GNU/Linux distribution by the same name. The two agreed last month on a 60 percent discount for the purchase of the commercial version of the free software for all teachers and staff at France's schools and universities. "Our goals are to promote alternative solutions, to offer more choice and to make our users less dependent on software vendors."

Verez estimates that at present barely 10 percent of France's postgraduate schools and universities use any form of GNU/Linux. He says a similar percentage is using Max OS X. "The majority is still using Microsoft."

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