A batch of 7,000 PCs with Ubuntu Linux have been sent to Macedonian schools, the first of a collection that Ubuntu sponsor Canonical expects will reach 20,000.
Through a program called Computer for Every Child, the Macedonia Ministry of Education and Science plans to install the PCs throughout its elementary and secondary school system. Ubuntu will run on the 20,000 PCs, but 160,000 more students will be able to share those machines using hardware from NComputing, Canonical plans to announce Tuesday. The PCs are being supplied and installed by Haier, a Chinese PC maker.
"The Computer for Every Child initiative is the largest and most important education project undertaken in the 15-year history of the Republic of Macedonia," said Ivo Ivanovski, Macedonia's minister for the information society, in a statement. "By selecting Ubuntu as the operating system for all of our classroom virtual PCs, our education system can provide computer-based education for all schoolchildren within the limited financial and infrastructural confines that most institutions face today."
The schools are using version 7.04 of Edubuntu, a version of Ubuntu tailored for classroom use.
With PCs already commonplace in richer countries, companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Canonical are focusing on reaching markets in developing countries.