Austria Gets FLOSS in Education

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.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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One Response to Austria Gets FLOSS in Education

  1. Richard Chapman says:

    In the old Soviet Union there was a truck factory. Every truck left that factory with the same type of cab. Some trucks were delivered to dispersement points but others were delivered to another truck factory. At the second factory the cabs were ripped off and different ones bolted on. This was incredibly inefficient but such was the Soviet way. The workers in the first factory would have been deprived of work if some of the trucks left with just a chassis.

    Microsoft is so out of integrity with free commerce that they have to invent concepts that defy logic. One such concept they use is that giving Microsoft money for their products boosts the local economy. Well, let’s see how that works. More people are required to maintain and service Microsoft’s products. That generates jobs. But like the Soviet way, it’s very inefficient. Money is sucked out of the economy that would have been rolled back into it. Money given to Microsoft will never be seen again.

    It seems as though the Austrian Government are shaking themselves loose from the Microsoft induced stupor.

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