Mauricio broke the news today in his blog about what can only be described as a massive deployment of free software. I'd heard about this project recently, but reading more of the details in Mauricio's blog really cemented in my mind how groundbreaking this is.
In summary: KDE on Linux has stepped up to become the software platform in the primary school education system in Brazil. That may sound like a bold claim, but the numbers are staggering and speak for themselves:
By the end of this year 29,000 labs serving some 32,000,000 students will be fully deployed and in active use.
By the end of next year (2009) those numbers will have swelled to 53,000 labs serving some 52,000,000 students.
The systems use KDE 3.5 and take full advantage of Debian as well as KDE's Edu and Games projects, use of KDE4 in future implementation is just starting to be explored. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the deployment is how they maximize investment in hardware by putting several heads on each system.
What about the content used on these computers? Go see for yourself.
Brazil is rolling out an additional 150,000 portable machines in their "Um Computador por Aluno" project; those machines are Classmate PCs and though I haven't found out first hand yet what they will be running, my online spelunking seems to indicate they, too, are sporting KDE on Linux.
Brazil is not the only place in the world that things are heating up for Free software and KDE, but this has got to be one of the more exciting publicly announced projects going right now.
In a word, it is humongous.
You can learn more about this expansive project by reading Mauricio's blog entry. I encourage you to head over and take a peak if you haven't already done so.