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Teaching Children To Love Linux

The Chinese government is embracing the penguin. It awarded a $42.7 million contract last week to Sun Wah Linux Ltd. for 141,000 desktop PCs running the open-source operating system for primary and secondary schools in Jiangsu Province. Sun Wah Linux, working with six PC vendors, plans to install Rays LX, its version of Debian-based Linux workstation software. The original contract called for Windows, but the software vendor says it "managed to turn these desktops into dual-boot machines with Rays LX as the preferred loading OS." The computers also will be loaded with E-learning applications from local vendors.

The deployment in Jiangsu Province, a heavily populated area that encompasses the lower Yangtze River plain and western approaches to Shanghai, is part of China's School-to-School Project, which aims to connect 90% of the nation's schools to the Internet by 2010. Sun Wah Linux says the deal is among the top five largest Linux desktop deployments in the world.

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