February 5, 2007 9:20 AM PST

Paris turns 175,000 kids on to open-source key plan

To help make kids aware of alternatives to proprietary software, the Ile-de-France, the political district of greater Paris, will be giving 175,000 school children and apprentices a USB key loaded with open-source software.

The keys, which will contain a "portable office" suite of software and other tools, will be given to 130,000 secondary-school pupils and 45,000 first-year apprentices at training centers at the start of the 2007 school year.

The portable office will include the office software suite, an Internet browser, an e-mail client, an instant-messaging client, and audio and video player software, according to the Ile-de-France regional council. The open-source software will work in the Windows environment.

The project will "represent for students a tool of freedom and mobility between their school, cybercafes and their home or friends' PCs," the council said. The operation will cost $3.38 million (2.6 million euros).

The president of the regional council, Jean-Paul Huchon, is a self-confessed "partisan of the rebalancing of the supply of proprietary and open-source software" who previously welcomed the launch of the Firefox 2 browser and led the support for a creation of a competitiveness hub based on open source.

Staff writers of ZDNet France reported from Paris.

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6 comments

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Open Source the Politicians
Lets open source the politicians. They are too entrenced also.
Posted by ifiredmyboss.com (51 comments )
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Open Source = Very Good
Like it or now, Open Source is good for the software industry overall, it forces stoburn companies to notice and change, like MS.

I been using Microsoft OSes since 1990 and others as well even before that and MS is the worse OS as far as crashes, freezing, and viruses, worms goes.

It is true that Linux ins't as pretty yet as Windows or have support for the many games, but so what, it will get better with time.

Imagine if Mac and Linux didn't exits, MS would do whatever hell they wanted.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
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Yeah, keys that don't work--LOL!
And the funniest part is the disclaimer the author made about the software running on Windows. How ironic! Again, LOL!!
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
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What's really hilarious...
...is how you fail to see that this is simply one step in an ongoing process. This is part of a slow but inexorable erosion of Microsoft's hold on the PC software market. Governments and businesses everywhere are tired of Microsoft's proprietary model, and are slowly but surely migrating to open standards.
Posted by jp10293847 (25 comments )
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Can I have one!!!
I am sure the USB drive would be helpfull after I format it ;)
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
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Can I have one!!!
I am sure the USB drive would be helpfull after I format it ;)
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
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