Saturday, March 13, 2004
Linux in Israel
Maariv International: "Three months after the appearance of a Hebrew version of the Open Office package, distributed free of charge as an alternative to Office, Microsoft has been dealt yet another blow in Israel. For the first time, the Hebrew version of Windows is faced with an alternative operating system for home users. It’s called Knoppix, and its price – you guessed it – is zero.

Based on Linux, Knoppix is an open-code system, meaning that all users have access to the program’s code and can change it at will. The Microsoft source code, which was never intended to be shared with the public, was partially leaked last week on the Web.

Knoppix has a clear advantage over Windows: it operates directly from a CD, with no need to install it on the computer's hard disk. After a brief minute’s wait, you will discover a new and amazing world – an operating system very similar to Windows with a hoard of available programs that include Open Office (a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and more), a graphics and multimedia program, an e-mail program, and an Internet browser. The operating system even identifies Web connections and allows you to surf Hebrew sites quickly and with no need for definitions. Knoppix contains everything home users need, saving them installation work as well as hundreds of shekels, since the program can be downloaded free of charge. That is what will make Knoppix a hit, as well as a threat to Microsoft’s total control of the market for home computer operating systems. The impact on this market is likely to be significant. Despite our request, Microsoft Israel declined to comment."

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