05 April 2007

More News About Neuf

Last year, I wrote about the interesting idea of offering a nearly-free computer as an extra to a broadband connection. Inevitably, the "Easy Neuf" was based on GNU/Linux - how else could you afford to do this kind of project? Now the International Herald Tribune has caught up with the story, and offers some more details, as well as a picture of the very 60s-looking beast:

"The choice of open source was both for price and motivation," Charrier said. "We pay no licensing fee for the software, and engineers feel motivated to work on a new kind of project that helps the open-source community."

The choice has been hailed by April, an advocacy group for free and open-source software. "This is the first time that a company offers open-source software in a mass consumption product that has a help desk to assist customers," said Benjamin Drieu, treasurer of April, who also works for a company involved in the Neuf project.

"Normally, only programmers have the confidence to use open source, so this could change the perception of free software."

The suite of open-source software on the Easy Neuf includes the Firefox browser, Abiword word processor and the Gnumeric spreadsheet program.

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