The French government is moving towards Linux.
And why not? In these challenging economic times, every dollar (or franc) counts. The French government will be using Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu Linux is the most popular Linux distribution worldwide. Ubuntu is also used as the base code of many other Linux distributions including Linux Mint, the one I currently use.
Linux is stable, secure, loaded with tons of software and best of all, free.
I do wonder, however, why the French government doesn't give its own home grown Linux distribution a try. Mandriva Linux is a terrific distribution. Yes, it's one of the Linux distros which is sold. But, it only costs $59.00 US, which is still much, much cheaper than Windows Vista (Windows Vista Home basic costs around $186.99.)
But, in true Linux form, you can also try Mandriva for free by downloading Mandriva One!
However, when you buy Mandriva, you get an entire corporation supporting you, the new Linux user.
Mandriva was the very first Linux distribution that I tried. The company had a brilliant device known as The Globetrotter. It was a version of their Linux OS on a portable hard drive. All you would do is plug it into your computer, boot the system, and Linux would run off this hard drive. Windows would not be touched. It was a terrific device and I really loved using Mandriva (at the time, is was called Mandrake).
You can run this OS the same way with a really neat new product from Mandriva called Mandriva Flash. It's an entire Linux operating system on a flash drive! In the same way as the Globetrotter, plug in the flash drive, boot the computer and Linux runs right from the flash drive!
So, its great to hear that the French government is giving Linux a go. Ubuntu is great. But Mandriva is terrific and I hope they (and you) give it a try, as well.