Aiming to make further inroads into the education market, two leading providers of Linux-based software have announced major discount programs targeted at United States schools. The promotions mark an attempt to shift education customers from proprietary operating systems such as Windows to less expensive, open-source alternatives--an increasingly alluring option for school technology leaders in light of waning budgets.

Last month SUSE, a German provider of open-source software applications, launched the SUSE Linux Education Program, which provides students, educators, school districts, universities, and nonprofit organizations with 40-percent discounts on a variety of SUSE solutions, including the


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