Au revoir, Windows; bonjour, Linux

The French parliament plans to shut down Windows and open the door to Linux.

Come next June, some 1,150 parliamentary PCs will be running on a to-be-determined flavor of Linux (Mandriva, perhaps?), along with OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and an open source e-mail client, according to reports.

Convincing the French National Assembly to make the move was conclusions from an IT company called Atos Origin, according to Cnet.

"'The study showed that open-source software will from now on offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs (members of parliament) and will allow us to make substantial savings despite the associated migration and training costs,' the parliament said."

Cost savings, huh? I'm not sure I'm convinced that's the real reason. Allow me to present my top five reasons why the French are dumping Windows for Linux.

5. They're upset that Microsoft's Xbox 360 won't play DVDs that star Jerry Lewis.

4. Tired of being the butt of military jokes, the French are working toward developing a Linux-powered army of robots. (Note to White House: This is not true. Please do not invade France.)

3. They're angry that Microsoft continually refuses to release a French version of its OS called Fenêtres.

2. The Blue Screen of Death clashes with the curtains in the offices of the French parliament.

1. The French can't figure out a culinary use for a penguin, so they're settling for a technological one.*

*("If it's possible to imagine a piece of beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck roasted together in a pot, with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce, the illustration would be complete." - Dr. Frederick A. Cook of the Belgia, on penguin meat)

What do you think? Have the French made a wise move here?

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