Switzerland’s schools have announced they will stop using Windows and instead switch to the Linux operating system Ubuntu. Up until now the school system’s 9000 computers were set up to dual boot to Windows and Ubuntu. The country’s Department of Public Instruction has become serious fans of Open Source software. Their reasons are the money it saves them and the relief it gives students who may not be able to afford Microsoft’s expensive software packages such as MS Office. The director of the Media Service Schools, Manuel Grandjean, said the move would also “avoid providing captive customers for large companies.”
The Swiss are not the first to make the switch. Schools in Russia have also begun to make the switch, and many government agencies here in the US also use Linux. The operating systems rising popularity has even caught the attention of PC makers, who are beginning to offer systems with Linux pre-installed. It is an especially popular choice for makers of ultra-portable yet affordable systems like the Eee PC.