Russian Schools Figure Linux Is Less Likely To Send Them To Siberia; Look To Ditch Windows

from the oops dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about how Mikhail Gorbachev was publicly asking Microsoft to drop charges against a school head teacher who was arrested and faces Siberian imprisonment for purchasing computers for his school that apparently had pirated copies of Windows. Microsoft responded saying that they wouldn't do anything, and it was all up to the police. We pointed out how short-sighted this was, especially considering that schools are where many students first get hooked on software like Windows -- which they'll later buy. However, the decision is looking even worse now. Yehuda Berlinger writes in to point out that Russian schools are now looking to drop Windows and switch to Linux simply to avoid facing the same Siberian imprisonment -- since they don't know if the computers they buy have legitimate copies of Windows or counterfeit ones. It's difficult to see how this is anything but harmful to Microsoft.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    In Soviet Era Russia, Windows drop you!

     

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    dorpus, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Is the news reliable?

    Truth is a scarce commodity in Russia. We have the state's official newspaper saying that fishermen caught an alien at sea and ate it.

    http://english.pravda.ru/science/mysteries/07-02-2007/87167-alien_monster-0

     

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      dorpass, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

      Re: Is the news reliable?

      Ahhh, dorpus comes through with another dumb comment! Pravda has not been a "state's official newspaper" for 16 years. And of course, it helps to not read the whole article. And did I mention that Pravda has not been respected in a while either?

       

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        dorpus, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: Is the news reliable?

        So this is a country that lets its official newspaper turn into a tabloid talking about space aliens? How do we know that the article about schools not buying windows is not just another piece of tabloid trash? Does anyone seriously get "sent to Siberia" for buying pirated copies of windows? Are any legitimate copies of Windows available in russia?

         

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          dorpass, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is the news reliable?

          That one was funnier than the original. Dumber too.

           

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          Odm, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is the news reliable?

          Pravda.ru has nothing to do with the paper Pravda, except by name, and I doubt the Russian government cares enough about the Communist official state newspaper to shut down the website. BBC News was the source of the article about Gorbachev asking Microsoft to drop the case, and I'm guessing they don't use tabloids as their sources.

          From what I know of Russia, it would be difficult and expensive to purchase a legitimate version of Windows. While it's true that Microsoft could stand to lose Windows-users through their actions, unless the situation changes those users would not have bought legitimate copies anyways. On the other hand, it doesn't look like suing a teacher is winning them any customers either.

           

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          Cixelsid, Feb 9th, 2007 @ 2:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is the news reliable?

          So this is a country that lets its official newspaper turn into a tabloid talking about space aliens?

          Yes. Not much different to the NY Times. Except the Times weighs 18 kilograms.

          How do we know that the article about schools not buying windows is not just another piece of tabloid trash?

          Because they didnĀ“t eat it after they caught it.

          Does anyone seriously get "sent to Siberia" for buying pirated copies of windows?

          Yes. They are all little bit screwy in the head, ask ze Germans, also have you seen their newspapers?!

          Are any legitimate copies of Windows available in russia?

          No.

          Okay, now my turn:

          Why do you think they ate the alien sea slug? Were they hungry?

          Tired of eating toiletpaper maybe?

           

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      european, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Is the news reliable?

      this a common, daily occurrewnce in not only russia, but all of eastern europe as well; you go to a computer shop, spend alot of money, buy a brand new computer, go home, set it up, and BINGO! the moment you try to register your copies of windows and office, it is then that you find out you have a pirated cdopy of software-happens every single day, and there isnt a damn thing the regular consumer can do about it, other, than of course, requesting that your new computer come without an os, and using linux, which is what many sensible people do, not just regartding the legality of the os, but also because linux is a much better os than anything windows could ever produce....europe in general, and eastern europe in particular,is not nearly as windows-obsessed as the usa is, and that's why there are much less virus and malware problems there, than here.

       

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        dorpass, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re: Is the news reliable?

        europe in general, and eastern europe in particular,is not nearly as windows-obsessed as the usa is, and that's why there are much less virus and malware problems there, than here.

        You have got to be kidding me! Try receiving a file from Russia without a virus, a trojan or some other freshly cooked monstrosity come with it. In the 10 years that I've seen people work with Russia from US, the amount of infected files has not decreased a single iota. Part of the problem is the pirated software that often does not support updates and just as often comes preloaded with its own lovely bouquet of malware.

         

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    Bumbling old fool, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 2:07pm

    Of course this is good for Microsoft...

    It's difficult to see how this is anything but harmful to Microsoft.

    The more Microsoft damages its desirability, the more desirable alternative products will be. Then these alternatives will be used more, there will then be better competition, and everyone will benefit. INCLUDING MICROSOFT. Especially since they could theoreticaly break their own monopoly, and shrug off those pesky monopoly sanctions and restrictions.

    Granted, the stock price will tank considerably, but people everywhere will actually appreciate their newfound ability to innovate. After drastic restructuring that is.

     

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    cycleguy55, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 3:08pm

    Now millions of Russian kids will learn Linux in s

    ... and there will be no turning back. Not only will they not be using or buying Windoze, instead they'll be increasing market share and momentum for Micro$oft'$ biggest competitive threat.

    Competition good - monopoly bad.

    Go get 'em, comrades.

     

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    cabe, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 3:24pm

    I wonder if it comes with a pre-installed bot-net?

    Seriously, this is nothing more than a sensational, tabloid-destined article. I don't expect Russian officials would make public pleas unless they are doing it for publicity. And I applaud Microsoft for not giving in to publicity stunts. What would come next, free Windows for Russians? If consumers in Russia are truly getting screwed with illegitimate copies of software on retail shelves, then there is a larger problem of consumer protection that needs to be addressed IN RUSSIA.

    "Sending teachers to Siberia" is a sensationalist concept.

    For the record, I am a supporter of open source and applaud the strides that are being made in versions of consumer-friendly Linux-based operating systems.

     

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    Freddie Brown, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 3:26pm

    MS vista

    I just bought a vista upgrade and loaded it. Immiediately the computer crashed and burned. I need a computer for work so I went out and bought one from Staples already vista ready. Vista is so bulky (20GB) and so security prone you can do almost nothing with it.
    Microsoft doesn't have to worry about the Russian police or open source puting it out of business - it will do that all on it's own.
    My next desktop will be an Apple

     

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    Dissen Formacion, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 5:17pm

    I heard from a reliable Apple insider today that Steve Jobs is planning a press release on Monday announcing some sort of huge donation or cut rate sale od Macs to the Russian schools. Stay tuned for more info.

     

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    |333173|3|_||3, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 5:38pm

    the alien fish video is atwww.fark.ru, but appears to be broken. THe newspaper article actually said that the fishermen had calimed that the fish was alien, not that anyone credible had agreed, although they have said that they have no clue waht it is, except that it looks like a sturgeon. Still, a 100kg fish is damn big.

    Back on topic, does nayone have a report from a reliable source on this. THe BBC has not picked up on it, and they have done a fairly through coverage of this whole business. OTOH, if you can get jailed for running (not intalling) pirated windows, then Linux does look like a good idea. Even if it is harder for you to use, if it keeps you out of jail it is not a bad chice.

     

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    |333173|3|_||3, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 5:45pm

    Done some research

    The original source was much less definate. Basically the Education Minster has suggested using Linux, but that a comp sci teacher in a Moscow school has been quoted as pointing out the difficulties of linux which are always mentioned on this site before a Windows v. Linux clame war breaks out. Sorry about getting sidetracked by dorpus's (not dorpass) stupid comment. that will teach me I suppose.

     

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    rstr5105, Feb 8th, 2007 @ 6:42pm

    what I want

    This is what I want from windows,

    Compatibility: I know that not all programs will run like they're supposed to, but....Theres usually only ONE mainstream windows distro kicking around in public. Until Vista catches on, it's XP. Linux on the other hand has major problems in this regard as sometimes what will work on one distro won't work in another. Proof of this: I recently upgraded from FC 5 to FC 6. FC 5 had the IFUP terminal command. This function no longer works in FC 6. I'm not even sure what the IP commands are in FC 6. Further, Gnome & KDE, which IMHO are both decent but nothing to write home about, both have different Dev Suites and a lot of things found in one are not in the other. Then you get into things like RPM's, DEB's, and so on and so forth. I know you can get the source in a tarbell, but still sometimes it just isn't available.

    Also, I want only what I want (Yes that makes sense) when I install windows. Hell Linux allows you to install nothing more than a command line for the OS Interface. (Granted the gui's provide MUCH more Eye candy...(beryl)). Hell, I'd like a *nix style terminal.

    Customization. I've seen a linux box that had circular "windows" running for the gui. I like that. I learned how to do it. Windows won't allow that.

    Security. One word. Selinux.

    Things I want in linux:

    Compatibility, I want one maybe two Mainstream distros. I want the software that I write on one linux box to work on ALL linux boxes.

    Gaming: Real Honest to god gaming. I want WoW, I want C&C and I don't want to have to run Wine.

    Better Office Suites: I gave up on using my *nix box as an office box. I hated every office suite I came across. M$ Office is better, albeit not perfect, but it is better.

    Just a little more user-friendliness. I lost power and my linux box died. Just died. I can't even boot to it anymore because the FS is now stuck in Write Protect mode with no way for me to get it out.

    And things I want from Techdirt:

    Are there now TWO dorpusi running around? (I think that's how you would pluralize dorpus)

    All in all, And this sorta ties it all together and brings it back on track, I think that IF Russia is in fact going to start using Linux on the school computers it will do a few things.

    1) Force Microsoft to compete for a change rather than ruling the roost as it were.

    2) Bring User Friendliness to *Nix, failing that, it will bring the average skill of computer users up as these kids will learn *nix and then teach their kids etc etc etc.

    3) Bring more things to development on *Nix. Better Drivers, better Games, better Gui's etc etc etc.

    4) Level the playing field. As noted above. Linux will strive to beat windows, and vice versa.

    That's my 2-4 cents.

    Rstr

     

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