The Paris region council this week began distributing USB keys loaded with Open Source software to 175.000 high school students and their teachers.
"We need to offer our high-school students and teachers an acceptable suite of software, which improves the access of our young people to computers and allows them to use Open Source software," Jean-Paul Huchon, who heads the regional council, was quoted by the French IT news site ZDNet. The council said the Open Source project is the biggest of its kind. The project will cost about 2.6 million euro.
The USB key has a capacity of 1 GByte and comes preloaded with 19 Open Source applications, such as the office application suite OpenOffice, the web browser Firefox, the email application Thunderbird and multi-media player VLC. About 600 MByte of space are available for storing data.
The plan to hand out the Open Source USB keys was announced this February. The council plans to evaluate the project a year from now. A preliminary report on how well the USB keys are received, is expected in November, one of those involved in the project promised.
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