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[vox] [fwd] nice plug from the economist
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[vox] [fwd] nice plug from the economist

Seen on schoolforge (and others, elsewhere):

----- Forwarded message from Yishay Mor -----

Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 17:10:22 +0000
From: "Yishay Mor"
Subject: [school-discuss] nice plug from the economist


Your correspondent has been happily using Gutsy Gibbon on a ten-year-old
desktop with only 128 megabytes of RAM and a tiny 10 gigabyte hard-drive.
When Michael Dell, the boss of Dell Computers, runs Ubuntu on one of his
home systems, Linux is clearly doing many things right.

And because it is free, Linux become the operating system of choice for
low-end PCs. It started with Nicholas Negroponte, the brains behind the One
Laptop Per Child project that aims to deliver computerised education to
children in the developing world. His clever XO laptop, costing less than
$200, would never have seen the light of day without its clever Linux
operating system.

But Mr Negroponte has done more than create one of the world's most
ingenious computers. With a potential market measured in the hundreds of
millions, he has frightened a lot of big-time computer makers into seeing
how good a laptop they can build for less than $500.

All start with a desktop version of Linux. Recent arrivals include the Asus
Eee from Taiwan, which lists for $400. The company expects to sell close on
four million Eees this financial year. Another Taiwanese maker, Everex, is
selling its gPC desktop through Walmart for $199.

When firms are used to buying $1,000 office PCs running Vista Business
Edition and loading each with a $200 copy of Microsoft Office, the
attractions of a sub-$500 computer using a free operating system like Linux
and a free productivity suite like OpenOffice suddenly become very

And that's not counting the $20,000 or more needed for Microsoft's Exchange
and SharePoint server software. Again, Linux provides such server software
for free.

Pundits agree: neither Microsoft nor Apple can compete at the new price
points being plumbed by companies looking to cut costs. With open-source
software maturing fast, Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, MySQL, Evolution, Pidgin
and some 23,000 other Linux applications available for free seem more than
ready to fill that gap. By some reckonings, Linux fans will soon outnumber
Macintosh addicts. Linus Torvalds should be rightly proud.

  Yishay Mor, Researcher, London Knowledge Lab
   +44-20-78378888 x5737

----- End forwarded message -----

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