Nigeria Settles on Mandriva Linux, Not Windows, for its Classmate PCs

The Nigerian government finally agreed to run Mandriva's Linux build on its portion of an order of 17,000 Intel Classmate PCs. The 2GB Wi-Fi laptops were initially scheduled to have Mandriva Linux, but then Microsoft apparently got into a bidding war, offering up a low-priced Windows version. On Halloween, things turned fugly.

The pot boiled over on the 31st, when Mandriva's CEO François Bancilhon all but accused Steve Ballmer of dirty dealing in an open letter.

Wow! I'm impressed, Steve! What have you done to these guys to make them change their mind like this? It's quite clear to me, and it will be to everyone. How do you call what you just did Steve? There is various names for it, I'm sure you know them.
That is one angry Frenchman. Now, the final (?) word is that the Nigerian government will take delivery of 11,000 Classmate PCs with just Mandriva Linux; the other 6,000 laptops still might get Microsoft'd. The Mandriva build comes with a "unique launcher application which makes it easier to access the most commonly needed applications" as well as anti-theft applications, educational tools and a content filter, lest there be an OLPC porn fiasco all over again. [Mandriva via Electronista]