Novell is also interested in the tender launched by the Ministry of Education for the acquisition of 250 thousand low-cost notebooks to be distributed to students and teachers of the first cycle within the scope of the e-kindergarten initiative. João Batista, Managing Director of Novell Portugal, told TeK that the company is preparing a response with partners who provide the hardware.
The company’s bet is on the software, SUSE Moblin, a Linux-based operating system that was designed for mini-notebooks and PDAs and that competes with Android, sponsored by Google.
A version of SUSE Moblin 2.1 is now available for the first time integrated into an MSI netbook, the MSI U135, which was announced at CES and which is already on sale through the brand’s distributors in Portugal with a base price of around $ 300 ( about 210 euros). On the MSI website the information for this model only refers to the integration of Windows 7 and not SUSE Moblin.
João Batista does not guarantee that Novell will be able to advance with MSI in the e-escolinha contest, being open the possibility of partnership with other hardware manufacturers, but it does not add names for reasons of confidentiality.
It is recalled that the tender specifications for the tender provide that netbooks have dual boot, with two operating systems, Windows and Linux. In the first year of the initiative, Magalhães laptops had Windows and Linux Caixa Mágica.
Moblin is being used in an educational project in Vietnam that foresees the delivery of 1 million desktops by 2011 to children in the country.