RealTime IT News

Chinese Ed. Dept. in Major Linux Buy

Sun Wah Linux is set to deploy nearly 142,000 Linux PCs in what it is proclaiming as the largest Linux desktop rollout in China so far. Sun Wah is touting the roll out as a win in the battle against Microsoft in China.

The deployment is being made in the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education and involves six different PC makers, all of whom will use Sun Wah's RAYS LX Linux distribution.

In addition to its Linux distribution, Sun Wah will also be providing maintenance, tech support and Linux training.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Jiangsu Province is making the Linux purchase as part of the Chinese government's "School-to-School Project," which aims to connect 90 percent of the schools in China to the Internet by 2010.

The effort will also see the government purchase a publicly undisclosed quantity of PCs for elementary and secondary schools in China. According to Sun Wah the current purchase by Jiangsu Province is the biggest government PC purchase project this year.

"This project marks the cooperative effort of Sun Wah Linux and the Jiangsu government's use of Linux to fight against Microsoft's monopoly in China," said Alex Banh, CEO of Sun Wah Linux, in a statement.

"This is the largest Linux desktop roll-out in Asia, thus proving that national Linux OS is moving toward more practical usage by saving millions of dollars and bringing profound influence to China Linux development and application promotion."

Sun Wah Linux is based on the community-driven Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The company is a founding member of the recently announced Debian Common Core Alliance (DCCA), and it also announced the first Debian-based enterprise Linux distribution in China.

In an August interview with internetnews.com, Sun Wah CEO Alex Banh discussed his firm's goal of being the leading Linux distribution in Asia.

Sun Wah does, however, face a fiercely competitive market in Asia. TurboLinux has claimed it is the Linux leader in Asia. And so has Novell.

In April, TurboLinux reported that it had signed up China's biggest bank as a customer, which followed a 2004 deal with the China Ministry of Railways.

But if Sun Wah's latest initiatives have anything to do with it, there may yet be a new leader in town soon.