Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Who cares? Not the Hoosiers.

At least, they don't care what operating system they run anymore. That's the feedback from this article on Indiana's statewide initiative to put Linux on 20,000 desktops. I love the defining quote of the article:

In surveying one classroom last year, he asked a student what he thought of using a Linux desktop vs. a Windows desktop, and the student responded, "Who cares?"

I find that quote telling, the kid doesn't care. I would love to have the ability to figure out what it is like to grow up one or two generations below me, pushing doorbells with your thumb, etc. Unfortunately, I can't (but see the Mindlist List for a few hints...) . However, I'm guessing it's like using a telephone for me. I don't care about who makes the phone, the color, even features aren't a big differentiator. It's a thing, I talk into it. End of story.

I've said before that just switching from Windows to Linux is not a super green thing to do, because you still have the identical infrastructure. Nor am I convinced that soaking the school districts (or, for that matter, world) with gobs of computers is really 'sustainable', or necessary. However, I do see an advantage to saving on maintenance dollars, and it appears that Indiana will be saving almost $100 million a year in licensing fees. And I bet that's a nice round number that some people do care about.

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