Linux Spreads its Wings in India

Windows is still No. 1, but open-source software is moving into schools and government offices

With 4,000 students and just 21 computers, the Cotton Hill Girls High School in the south Indian city of Trivandrum wouldn't appear to be at the vanguard of anything related to information technology. Yet the 71-year-old school is abandoning Microsoft (MSFT) Windows software in favor of its free, open-source rival, Linux. So when students -- typically eight to a machine, seated at two benches -- turn on their PCs they see Linux desktop software that helps them navigate their way to all manner of math, graphics, and writing programs. ``We're using something called Linux,'' says 12-year-old Arya VM as she plays with Tux Paint, a Linux drawing and painting application. And Windows? ``Never heard of it,'' she says.

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