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How Do I Start a University Transition To Open Source? 497

exmoron writes "I work at a small university (5,500 students) and am in a position to potentially influence future software purchasing decisions. I use a number of FOSS solutions at home (, Zotero, GIMP, VirtualBox). My university, on the other hand, is a Microsoft and proprietary software groupie (Vista boxes running MS Office 2007, Exchange email server, Endnote, Photoshop, Blackboard, etc.). I'd like to make an argument that going open source would save the university money and think through a gradual transition process to open source software (starting small, with something like replacing Endnote with Zotero, then MS Office with, and so on). Unfortunately, I can't find very good information online on site licenses for proprietary software. How much does a site-license for Endnote cost? What about a site license for MS Office for 2,000 computers? In short, what's the skinny on moving to open source? How much money could a university like mine save? Additionally, what other benefits are there to moving to open source that I could try to sell the university on? And what are the drawbacks (other than people whining about change)?"

Russia To Develop a National Operating System 374

Elektroschock writes "According to Russian media, the Russian Government is going to develop a National Operating System (Google translation; Russian original) to lower its dependencies on foreign software technology licensing. The Russian plan will base its efforts on Linux and expects a worldwide impact. Microsoft is also involved in the roundtable process that led to the recommendation. The Chinese government successfully lowered its Microsoft licensing costs through an early investment in a national Linux distribution. I wonder if other large markets, such as the European Union, will also develop their own Linux distributions or join in the Russian initiative."

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