MS, Red Hat Fight Over Poor Kids

from the silly-corporate-fights dept

So, I’ve pretty much ignored all the news today about Microsoft settling their other lawsuits because those lawsuits were tiny and unlikely to mean much. However, part of the agreement was that they would donate lots of software (along with, in some cases, cash, hardware, and training) to poor school districts around the US. Of course, not one to shy away from a chance for some cheap publicity shots, Red Hat came out with a press release saying they’ll give their software for free to every district in America (how generous of an open source company). They say that districts can save money by not installing Microsoft software, and use that money to buy more computers for the kids.

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Comments on “MS, Red Hat Fight Over Poor Kids”

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Pat Stakem says:

free software for schools

The problems is, the cost of free software.
Where Linux will run on any hardware they
might have, the same is not true for Microsoft.
The county here made a big deal of getting
free or low-cost XP. Problem is, it wont
run on the P-133’s with 32 megs of memory
and 1 g drives that are in a lot of classrooms.
No money for hardware, so the software is
of zero value, and sits unused.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: free software for schools

I’ve yet to figure out how this works.

Until March I was using a 486 120 for everything (then I bought an Athlon). That 486 was pretty much fine for everything– including playing Civilization Call to Power (ok- that was really slow). It was my workstation (used for web surfing, connecting to work, X, emacs), was the household print server, and also did IP masquerading for my wife’s computer.

Who makes these bad software decisions that require expensive hardware and why do they make them? They must be– incredible ignorant, incredible irresponsible, or getting kickbacks.

Admittedly, I’m not involved in the school systems, but I’d assume most of the computers are used for word processing, web, and programming. None of which require microsoft or a machine younger than 4 years old.

A school system could be outfitted with X terminals for *every* student (with 19″ monitors) for $500 each. Don’t give me that cost of labor argument– this is a school system– start a computer club=free labor.

My local library bought many many brand new Gateways with P500s (two years ago) with Win95. One was only allowed to use them for web surfing. Absurd.

Cory (user link) says:

The Software and Hardware market.

Software needs to help drive the hardware market, not the other way around.

Linux doesnt do much for innovations in the hardware market if it can run okay on 3 year-old gear.

School’s might not have a lot of money, but I would rather my child have to fight to use a PC running an OS that he will more than likely see in the workplace than a PC running Linux, where that is a lot slimmer of a chance of him ever seeing it again.

Ben says:

Re: The Software and Hardware market.

That’s hilarious, “software he’ll never see again”. You talk as if you can’t learn how to navigate MS Word in one day… or you can’t work in MS Excel with less than 2 day’s training. Please. When I was in school, it was all Apple, yet I’ve never owned a mac. Regardless of what platform they put in there, the students will adapt and use it to their benefit. Gee, they might even learn something. So if they can put twice as many machines in the schools by skipping licensing fees, I say go for it.

Dean says:

Re: The Software and Hardware market.

I’ve never heard something more rediculous in my life. Exposure to a unix O/S such as linux will teach your kid more about computers than any microsoft O/S ever will. Once your kid has linux programming and admin under his belt do you think that office word processing on a Microsoft platform is going to be a challenge to him? Secondly as far as microsoft driving the hardware market, in my humble opinion microsoft is forcing consumers to buy expensive hardware to run their bloated and buggy code. Just because linux will run on 3 year old or 10 year old gear for that matter is a testiment to Linux’s configurability. Considering that linux will squeeze every ounce of performance out of the processor, ram (i.e. caching) and accelerator card of the top of the range P4 if the user so desires.

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