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Russia Mandates Free Software For Public Schools 271

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the in-soviet-russia-joke-makes-you dept.
Glyn Moody writes "After running some successful pilots, the Russian government has decided to make open source the standard for all schools. If a school doesn't want to use the free software supplied by the government, it has to buy commercial licenses using its own funds. What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?"
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Russia Mandates Free Software For Public Schools

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  • by mfh (56) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:37AM (#25483517) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is no more!!!!

    Dammit, I'm moving.

    • by Yetihehe (971185) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:39AM (#25483547)
      In soviet russia, government controls microsoft.
  • i think it would be more of hassle trying get a linux distro, than a free available-everywhere pirate of a windows os

    • Ponosov's Case (Score:5, Informative)

      by ringm000 (878375) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:50AM (#25483731)
      • Re:Ponosov's Case (Score:5, Insightful)

        by theaveng (1243528) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:14PM (#25484097)

        Good story. An innocent headmaster buys PCs that are preinstalled, but did not realize the PC seller has used illegal copies. The headmaster gets in trouble with the law for piracy.

        Eventually the headmaster gets cleared, but he immediately organizes to push for Free software.... the result being that now Russian Schools no longer want Microsoft products. Only free products.

        Karma's a _____, ain't it Microsoft?

        • by xerxesVII (707232) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:28PM (#25484313)

          Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!!!

          Karma's a NOUN!

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            I love Mad Libs! My turn, my turn!

            Karma's a HIGHLY FLAMMABLE MATERIAL.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dgatwood (11270)

            Hmm. Last I checked, Karma's a microphone company [karmaaudio.com]. It's also a Korg keyboard technology [karma-lab.com]. And finally, Karma's a beach [karmakonsept.com] (or at least a beach residence).

            But seriously, Microsoft is getting what it deserves in this regard. That said, I have a feeling that this is, at least in part, a power play to drive down the cost of MS products in Russia. Just a gut feeling.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by plague3106 (71849)

          MS never appeared, and never intended to press charges. They even said they believed the headmaster didn't intentially violate their copyright. How's that karma biting them?

          If anything, it's Russia that prosecuted the wrong guy that should be to blame.

          • Re:Ponosov's Case (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ringm000 (878375) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:24PM (#25485187)
            As far as I understand, in the US copyright violation is prosecuted in a civil action and the holder has to press charges. In Russia it can be prosecuted under civil as well as criminal law. It is an offense under the Criminal Code of Russia and the criminal prosecution does not have to depend on the victim pressing charges, much like e.g. in cases of battery or theft.

            Yes, this is a rather stupid idea, and yes, cases like this are very rare.

    • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:50AM (#25483733)

      i think it would be more of hassle trying get a linux distro, than a free available-everywhere pirate of a windows os

      I know. It's so difficult to find a linux distribution these days. Ever since linux distros had to go underground I have to search the far dark corners of the internet to find a working download. If I want a copy locally, I have to go to the seedy part of town and down some dark alleyway whispering to the dealer who will get me my linux fix. Oh! If only linux were freely available from universities, computer geeks, and the internet!

      • by theaveng (1243528)

        I have an old AMD K5 laptop, currently running Windows 98. Will Linux run on that? Which dark alley should I explore to locate it?

      • by Talderas (1212466) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:13PM (#25485027)

        Are you taking ample precautions to avoid the grue?

      • by Xelgen (1392453) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:21PM (#25485133)
        Yep, it should be hard to believe for lot of ppl here, but for a lot of places (excluding only multimillion cities) in ex Soviet countries, this is the case. There is no broadband unlimited internet tariffs. 1 Mb of download, can cost up to 0.10$. Downloading will take couple of days .iso of a CD, and more then a week for DVD image. And a CD/DVD with Vista/Full Adobe Creative Suite/Full MS Office pro/3D Max/whatever will cost about 4-5$ at any CD/DVD shop, which can be found on every single step. Now tell me, which options whould you prefer? Downloading an iso of CD for 50-60$ during a week, + another 20-30$ for additional packages, drivers, codecs, whatever.. Or buying let's say 2 DVD's for 10$ in 10 minutes, one with "All windows + office" (Several versions of windows + several versions of office, + antiviruses, system utilites, daily soft), and second "All computer graphics" with (All Adobe applciations for graphics, video, web-design, +3d max, maya, corel draw, image viewers, video players, etc..). So which one? :) That is the main reason why it's so hard to push open source in here. P.S. It's hard to find a fresh Linux distro in CD shops, and even if you can find not 2 years old, the price is the same.
      • If only linux were freely available from universities, computer geeks, and the internet!

        When I wanted to install RedHat 4.something, I went to see if they had it in my university's library. Joy! They did! Unfortunately, the librarian refused to let me check it out because I "might install it on my own computer, which would be illegal." When I finally demonstrated that it would be OK, they still refused to let me leave the library with it, although I was welcome to bring a stack of floppies to copy the CD onto (as this was before CD burners became common).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Dan Ost (415913)

          That ranks right up there with librarians that wouldn't demagnetize the anti-theft strip in your library books if they had a CD in the back cover because it might erase it (would it have even damaged floppies?).

          I always had to remember to drop those books off at the drive through so that I wouldn't set off the alarms walking into the building.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      As Russian government wanted to go to the WTO badly, they have taken vast steps towards eliminating computer piracy. So a pirate version of Windows is still relatively easy to get, but so are Linux distros. The people's inertia will still hold windows share high though. It is a great move to offer free software in schools to overcome this inertia.

    • Seriously? On these Pro-Torrent threads, you have everyone and their dog claiming. "Oh I just torrent Linux distro's and yada yada yada"

      You would think the internets would be flooded with Linux distro's.

  • by GuloGulo (959533) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:41AM (#25483575)

    The confusion between these two types of software is not trivial.

    According to TFA, it is being mandated that "free" software be used, and open source isn't even mentioned (in the translated article, I don't speak russian, sorry).

    "By the end of 2009, all school computers will be installed package of free software (PSPO). This is how transfers Prime-TASS, today announced Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Igor Shchyogolev at the plenary session Information Society and the modern technologies of information in the international exhibition InfoCom-2008."

    "The Minister also noted that by 2010 it is expected that the number of computers in schools will reach a million. According to Schegoleva, after three years of school will be able to make a choice: pay royalties to use software products, buying them at their own expense, or go to the domestic free software."

    Nothing in there about "open source" submitter, so which is it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by liquidpele (663430)
      I think the government is going for cost savings, so they don't care about open source. However, I would assume that a lot of open source projects would make the cut. It doesn't have to be open source for it to be a good idea.
      • I got basically the same idea that you did from reading the article, but then I asked myself, if it's "free" software they're after, what's to stop MS from just giving Windows to them for free on some kind of "educational deal".

        Seems like exactly the kind of thing MS would do.

        • by jc42 (318812) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:34PM (#25485329) Homepage Journal

          ... if it's "free" software they're after, what's to stop MS from just giving Windows to them for free on some kind of "educational deal".

          Ah, but you and others are getting an entirely wrong idea due to a simple (and probably intentional) mistranslation. The Russian government's order and the original article were not written in English, they were in Russian. As someone else point out in another message, the Russian text describes the software as "svobodniy", not "bezplatniy". Both of these words translate to English as "free", but their meanings are totally different, and neither can be naturally expressed in English with a single word. The morpheme "svobod-" means free as in liberty or freedom. The root "bezplat-" is two morphemes, "bez-" meaning without, and "plat-" meaning cost or price.

          They aren't ordering schools to use software that they don't have to pay for. They're ordering the schools to use software that's unencumbered by legal restrictions and, for example, can be taken apart and studied by students that are interesting in software or by school employees looking for backdoors and other security holes. It so happens that much "svobodniy" software is available at no cost and without legal restrictions, but that wasn't the adjectivee that was used, and wasn't the intent of the government's order.

          To paraphrase Ronald Reagan's famous claim that the Russian language has no word for freedom, the translators in this case missed the fact that English has no word for "svobodniy". Rather, English has a word "free" that means both "svobodniy" and "bezplatniy", two unrelated concepts that English speakers typically confuse. One can, of course, express these concepts in English, using short multi-word phrases. But in this case, the translators chose not to do this, and instead went with the one-word translation that is misinterpreted by most English readers.

          This is, of course, an old trick of propagandists. If you're familiar with the technique, you're probably amused to see it in use, and to see so many people falling for it so publicly.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by syousef (465911)

            Both of these words translate to English as "free", but their meanings are totally different, and neither can be naturally expressed in English with a single word. The morpheme "svobod-" means free as in liberty or freedom. The root "bezplat-" is two morphemes, "bez-" meaning without, and "plat-" meaning cost or price.

            Let me translate to slashdotese for you, since you didn't do such a good job.
            svobod: free as in libre.
            bezplat: free as in beer.

    • by shvytejimas (1083291) <slashdot.shvytejimas@dfgh.net> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:55AM (#25483807)
      The automated translation did not distinguish the exact meaning of "free" in that sentence. The word used in the russian article was "svobodnovo", which means free as in liberty. Free as in beer would have been "bezplatnovo" - literally "payless".
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Wouldn't that be "free as in shoes" then?

      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Free as in beer would have been "bezplatnovo" - literally "payless".

        I'll remember that next time I need new shoes [payless.com].

    • It is free as in speech, according to the article. Open source isn't mentioned.

    • by temcat (873475)

      " " (from the original article) is free/libre software, not gratis or open source software.

  • Wise They Are (Score:5, Interesting)

    by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:42AM (#25483591)
    I'm probably one of the few slashdotters who has lived in Russia. I will say that I met a ton of very smart people who are breaking from their national heritage in being hard-working. A university degree from Russia now and has always equated with a Masters in the US. They are just smart in not buying into the crap that Microsoft sells. There are so many entire technology stacks--just as in the Java world, not in .NET--that can be had without ever spending a thin dime on software. Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives. And though as a software developer this eats into my bread and butter, I know they are right.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Hyppy (74366)

      A university degree from Russia now and has always equated with a Masters in the US.

      Is that so?

    • Re:Wise They Are (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:50AM (#25483727)

      breaking from their national heritage in being hard-working

      They created an empire with more surface area than any empire since Ghengis Khan, created the periodic table, defeated Napolean and Hitler, sent the first man into space, and challenged the US for global supremacy for fifty years. I think hard work _is_ their national heritage. The lazy Russian stereotype may have been accurate in the dying days of the Soviet Union, but it is by no means the norm for Russia.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by flyingsquid (813711)
        Yeah, but the serfs under the Czars? What a bunch of slackers.
      • I think the founding fathers of the US would scoff at the idea that Americans are the just the same as those who fought off the British, let alone comparing Russians from before Communism to todays.

      • Re:Wise They Are (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bendodge (998616) <bendodge@b[ ]rog ... m ['sgp' in gap]> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:46PM (#25484623) Homepage Journal

        Yes, they work very hard and have a lot of smart people, but they seem to have some major gullibility issues when it comes to politics.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by famebait (450028)

          More like a different experience than the west.

          When Russia has been great and proud, it has been under
          totalitarian rule (both under czars and portions of the
          soviet era), and to many Putin seems to be restoring it.

          Experience with democracy has been fleeting and disappointing,
          There is no centuries old tradition of civil liberties and
          people's power, only varying standards of living and international
          influence, so they still look to a string leader like all
          countries used to up until a couple of centuries ago.
          Add

      • Cultural bias (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CarpetShark (865376) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:50PM (#25484667)

        Aside from stereotyping russians, you guys are showing a lot of cultural bias, that you probably don't realise. Stop calling people lazy, and go read The Importance of Living. Or just spend time living in a hunter-gatherer tribe for a while. You might find yourselves returning to your lives and calling the people around you workaholics... or just plain insane.

        "To truly understand another culture, you must first understand your own."

        • Re:Cultural bias (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:36PM (#25485351)

          Aside from stereotyping russians, you guys are showing a lot of cultural bias, that you probably don't realise. Stop calling people lazy, and go read The Importance of Living.

          I have spent a significant amount of time in Ukraine (rough comparison - Ukraine is to Russia as Canada is to the USA) and I have also known Russians in various places. I would not describe them as lazy. However, they do have a sense of entitlement that you cannot believe unless you have been there. Couple this with a seriously decreased sense of morality (thank you USSR!) and you do have a culture that sees nothing wrong at all with stealing, lying, killing, etc. to make money. I'm not saying all Russians are like this, but more are than we should really be comfortable with. Generally they are well educated and often well motivated, but they are not motivated in a way that's really beneficial to them or us in the long term. Ultimately they probably won't be able to solve the problems that they'll face in the near future (declining population, increasing rates of AIDS, poor health care, rampant alcoholism, etc.) because they are so self-centered. But they aren't lazy.

    • Re:Wise They Are (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquidpele (663430) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:55AM (#25483803) Journal

      Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives. And though as a software developer this eats into my bread and butter, I know they are right.

      I always looked at it as the evolution of software. Software costs money to make, it basically after a certain amount of time (depending on it's complexity) free software that mimics your software will show up. It's almost an inevitability. I see that as a way of keeping commercial software on it's toes and forcing it to continuously improve. That, and if software is created and does something everyone uses for a long time (like Windows) it makes sense that eventually the whole idea of an OS goes into the public domain so that we as a programming culture can move on and not have to re-create that ever again.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        Software costs money to make, it basically after a certain amount of time (depending on it's complexity) free software that mimics your software will show up

        you mean Linux is going to mimic Vista? That really will mean Linux is not ready for the desktop!

    • by Splab (574204)

      Face it--nobody is ever going to pay when there are free alternatives.

      Really? We pay for our database software, quite a lot of people would argue there are free alternatives, might not be just as good, but they are free!

      Well you can keep your free alternatives until they are as good.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        Exactly and there are more companies then just Microsoft. Most of them are actually willing to support their application and fix bugs for you. Also a lot of the Non-Free software the company can afford to pay for patent rights and license other software to actually make it work correctly. There have been times in Open Source just because it was Open Source and wasn't willing to pay some money they had to take features out. Because of the Patent or License. You can complain about the problems with Licenses

        • Exactly and there are more companies then just Microsoft. Most of them are actually willing to support their application and fix bugs for you.

          True. There are many great commercial software products out there, with good companies. I think where OS really shines is when going up against a company that does not listen to it's customers. Just look at Asterisk - it was started literally because they telephony companies refused to add in simple features the customers requested. When a commercial company stops responding to it's customers, open source really works well because you have the plan of last resort - adding the feature yourself. You don'

      • Enjoy it while it lasts. I recall back in 2003 when a company I worked for forked over $8,000 for a copy of WebSphere Studio Integration Edition. And now we use free Eclipse... A major push of corporations this year is finding ways to get on open source free alternatives...
  • In Soviet Russia, the gov't pwns Microsoft;)

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Ngarrang (1023425)

      Imagine Putin tea-bagging Gates.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      actually, in Soviet Russia, the military pwns the NSA.

      (from an article in yesterdays /. [computerworld.com.au] about RedHat CEO: "Earlier in the year I was in Russia and RHEL is the most secure operating system certified by the Russian military, therefore there are applications for the Russian military and government that can only run on RHEL. The ironic thing about that is the reason it is so secure is because SE Linux, the core security technology for Linux, was written by the NSA in the US." )

      First the military, then the educa

  • Slash prices? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:43AM (#25483615)

    What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?

    I wouldn't bet on that. It's far cheaper for Microsoft to just give very, very big campaign contributions to Russian legislators.

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:03PM (#25483949) Homepage Journal

      Pffft. In Soviet (and Non-Soviet) Russia, Microsoft waits in a very long line to bribe the officials.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by syousef (465911)

        Pffft. In Soviet (and Non-Soviet) Russia, Microsoft waits in a very long line to bribe the officials.

        I bet Microsoft has even tried to patent the process.

    • Re:Slash prices? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jc42 (318812) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:26PM (#25484275) Homepage Journal

      It's far cheaper for Microsoft to just give very, very big campaign contributions to Russian legislators.

      Yeah, and that's pretty much their tactic in the US now, too, since they became one of the biggest "campaign contributors" back in the 2000 elections.

      Anyway, slashing prices is difficult in a country where most "customers" get Windows for free. To beat that, MS would have to start paying people to use their software. Of course, for government agencies, it can be a bit more difficult to get away with using pirated software. Your records may be accessible to the politicians who are on the take, and they have ways of punishing people who don't buy from their campaign contributors.

      But there may well be a bigger reason: Maybe the Russian government's IT folks are finally getting across the idea that there are serious problems with trusting any binary-only software that comes from a big American corporation. Consider the story discussed here a while back, about the fact that Vista (and apparently XP, too) will sometimes ignore config settings having to do with updates, and automatically update things even when you have explicitly told it not to. This is a giant "backdoor", as the security folks call it. Not only can the software you buy have all sorts of extra code in it that they didn't tell you about ("special for the Russian market"); Windows may at any time replace parts of your system with a new version that has even more "special" code tailored just for you. That's gotta be making a lot of people a bit nervous.

      This nervousness is probably encouraged by the widespread interpretation of the 1982 Siberian pipeline explosion [builderau.com.au], as the result of sabotage by American software. That's an Australian site, but you can find lots of descriptions of this event online, and most of them give the same explanation. This story is a good illustration for why you don't want to run unanalyzable binaries in the controls for critical infrastructure. And maybe you don't want to run binary-only software anywhere. ("Think of the children" comes to mind here. ;-)

      Note that "free" software is usually also open source. That means you can hire your own hackers to study the code, and remove any backdoors they find. And you can do clean compiles, to ensure that the binaries you're running actually correspond to the code. This should be sufficient to convince anyone with a grain of sense. We don't know whether access to the source code would have prevented the above explosion, but we can safely say that lack of the source code does pretty much prevent finding and fixing such problems.

  • Makes sense, as it's going to be hard to support schools with oil prices tanking. Russia has lost over $230 Billion USD in the last month, and it's not going to get better as oil prices remain flat or slide (perhaps to $40/barrel).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Vicarius (1093097)
      Russia's last few 3-year budget plans, as well as the ones coming up, were betting on $70-80 price and all excess is being put into a separate fund/account. Russia still has not spent its surplus of the oil money.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Mikkeles (698461)

        '... all excess is being put into a separate fund/account.'

        Yeah; Putin's, I bet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Risen888 (306092)

      I wouldn't fret too much about the Russian economy. They're sitting squarely on top of the largest supply of natural gas on planet Earth. I think they'll make it through okay.

  • What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?
    Microsoft already pays people to use their search engine... I'm betting MS starts paying Russian schools to use their software!
  • ...all software is free because, really, who the hell buys it when the piracy industry is so well developed?
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:53AM (#25483777) Homepage

    Remember, Microsoft OSs have a "kill switch" implicitly built into Windows Update. If you use Windows Update, Microsoft has total control of your computers. That's not acceptable given Russia's renewed determination not to be under the control of the United States.

    Even with Windows Update turned off, there are all those little things, like "codec downloads" and "DRM downloads" which can insinuate new Microsoft software onto a computer. That's unacceptable to a sovereign nation.

  • by pyrr (1170465) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:54AM (#25483791)

    What's the betting Microsoft starts slashing its prices in Russia?

    It's hard to compete with free. In light of M$ slashing their prices in China to compete with pirated-retail versions of their software, would they be desperate enough in a bid to hold onto market share to practically give away software in order to compete with FOSS?

    Moreover, they claim piracy of their products around the world costs them "billions of dollars". I assume that's calculated on the basis of US-retail prices translated into foreign exchange rates, and they seem to have a hard-and-fast notion of exactly what each copy of their software is worth in terms of intellectual property, profit margin, cost of materials, and so forth when they make such statements. I wonder, since they're so sure of what their product is worth, if they could be accused of illegally dumping their products in foreign markets. They'd obviously be selling them for less than they know/believe they're worth in able to compete.

  • by ToasterMonkey (467067) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:02PM (#25483925) Homepage

    I'm confused, can Glyn Moody read Russian, or is the article based on the Google translation?
    From this, no one is being forced to use anything, they are given free software, and individual schools must foot the bill of commercial software. I'm sure this will help spur free software adoption, but isn't the real story about the Govt not buying school software anymore? A story like this in the states would imply the schools are now rejigging their IT budgets, not necessarily adopting free software wholesale. A story about govt funding to schools being cut probably wouldn't be taken in such positive light either.
    Just my two cents.

    [Via Google Translate: By the end of 2009, all school computers will be installed package of free software (PSPO). This is how transfers Prime-TASS, today announced Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Igor Shchyogolev at the plenary session Information Society and the modern technologies of information in the international exhibition InfoCom-2008.]
    [Via Google Translate: The Minister also noted that by 2010 it is expected that the number of computers in schools will reach a million. According to Schegoleva, after three years of school will be able to make a choice: pay royalties to use software products, buying them at their own expense, or go to the domestic free software.]

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:02PM (#25483933) Homepage

    If Microsoft simply let Russia go free (sounds weird right?) then perhaps there will be fewer Russian hackers writing Windows malware. That would be something of a long-shot I suppose.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:08PM (#25484009) Homepage Journal
    Actions like this speak volumes about the future of the United States in the global economy. As a whole we are locked into the Microsoft monopoly more tightly than any other nation. As the rest of the world embraces free and open source software at a faster pace than we do, they are essentially leapfrogging us in technological advancement. If more USA users don't wise up to this soon, we risk becoming a technological backwater. It could take years to catch up, if ever.

    If you think this isn't possible, consider how much farther ahead cell phones are in Europe, or broadband to the home in Asia.
    • While valid points, neither the cell phone nor broadband problems have anything to do with Microsoft, which distracts from your central point. You need to provide evidence for why MS vs. *NIX vs. some other option would necessarily lead to a lack of technical progress. I've programmed and run both, and while I somewhat prefer the simplicity of the Linux APIs, I don't see how it makes any real difference in technological advancement.
  • Free as in freedom (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm a native russian speaker, and "ÑÐобоÐноРÐYÐz" means a "free OS" as in freedom.

    So they probably went with ALTLinux or whatever version of linux they got there that's popular.

    (also, the russian text in preview is broken for whatever reason)

  • by Sparrow_CA (783100) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @12:19PM (#25484171)

    I have an uncle who lives in Russia, where he bought a computer preloaded with XP. After some time he realized it wasn't a legit copy, and went back to the place he bought it from to inquire about getting an "upgraded" version. The manager had this to say to him: "There is exactly ONE legal copy of Windows in Russia, what makes you think that YOU should have it?"

    Hence, MS should just raise the price of that one copy.

  • Its all free, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ""After running some successful pilots..."

    THIS is the big one. Not whether a contract was signed or not.

    What Linux needs are success stories showing that it is viable as a large-scale enterprise operating system. No commercial organisation wants to be first into a new, unknown environment. Why can't we see the results of these pilots, and have them widely publicised?

  • Doesn't Russia just pirate all the software anyways ?

  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @01:57PM (#25485685) Homepage

    Once the world economy tanks and Russia is forced to abandon free software in favor of 'for profit' OS's, then we can breathe a sigh of relief that those who came up with the OS are getting their rightful compensation for IP rights!

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