RUSSIA'S PLANS to run the open sauce operating system Linux have been thwarted by incompetence and the slippery actions of Microsoft.
The former communist state apparently had a cunning plan to use the free operating system in schools to save a ruble or two.
However according to the Russian press the chap in charge of the programme, Alexei Kuzovkin, believes that the program that supplies Linux to schools is in jeopardy.
He said that part of the problem is that the schools are not getting the cash to upgrade. From the beginning of the year funding for the project was pared down three times.
Disks that were sent out to schools were faulty and producers of the software appear to have difficulty supplying the schools with simple software that meets their needs. Resources to train teachers on Linux, after they were used to Windows, also appear to be lacking.
The feeling in government is that while the software is a lot cheaper, it is still costing them too much in training.
Meanwhile Microsoft has been lobbying hard by offering cut-price versions of its software. One school was offered $30 per machine.
Systems integrator 'Compulink' supplied 60,000 Russian schools with a package that includes as an operating system Windows XP, plus Microsoft Office, the dictionary Abbyy Lingvo 12, anti-virus software Kaspersky Work Space Security, Adobe Photoshop CS3 and more.
What appears to be the problem is that the Linux project has been doomed by government agency incompetence and a software supplier that has been unable to get it out and get people trained.
Meanwhile the Vole just pours itself into the vacuum with a slickness that is lacking from the home grown Russian agencies. µ