Published in News
Open Source installed in the Philippines
After overcoming suspicion
One of the biggest problems installing Linux in schools in the Philippines was not Microsoft, but suspicions that government officials had about free software.
Independent open source consultant, Ricardo Gonzalez, said when he set up a huge open source project for schools he wanted to use Fedora 5. However, it had to go all the way to office of the Filipino President before a decision was made. The President's office kept passing it around because it was worried about why anyone would offer something for free and who would support and teach it.
The project dragged on for four to five months to a point where Microsoft matched the price by offering Windows XP for $US20 a copy and even threw in Office for $US30. Even then, the project was cheaper, so Microsoft offered free training to high school teachers.
However after "jumping through all the hoops", including having the Department of Science and Technology evaluate the Linux solution for its usefulness, ASI got the contract and all 10,000 computers were delivered at the end of December, 2007. The savings meant that the project could get an additional 3,000 PCs and now another 300 schools have Linux networks.