“Schwarzinger finds that schools in Austria are increasingly turning to OpenOffice. The Austrian ministry of Education is supporting this move, paying the schools 10 Euro for every PC that uses this suite of open source office productivity tools.” Wow! and a bunch of schools are using GNU/Linux.
Lower costs, flexibility, and support for open standards would be my guess as to the causes. The one barrier mentioned is that IT workers are still more familiar with that other OS but these moves indicate that is changing. I like the fact that the government is actually paying schools to use OpenOffice.org. The advantage to the government is that they will have future citizens and employees familiar with OpenOffice.org and since the government pays for licensing that other OS and its Office suite, this saves them money. Say that other Office costs the government $50 per PC. By bribing the schools to use OpenOffice.org $10 the government saves $40 per PC not getting Office and increases the proportion of schools using OpenOffice.org. The schools actually get an income to cover the trivial cost of installing OpenOffice.org so they have some slush for their IT programme or whatever is their priority for spending. That’s brilliant.