The Government is not "pushing Microsoft". As a player in the education market, I can point the finger at various people, but none are at government level. First and worst are parents, who (in the form of school governors) used to bleat horribly about non-standard computers. Second come the board and management at Acorn, who successfully screwed the company into the ground rather than actually competing.
And, as far as MS profiteering from schools goes, the prices they charge are miniscule in comparison to most other vendors. For a sub of about thirty quid a year, you get all updates and new releases of the OS and Office Pro Enterprise. And, moreover, the government has screwed them down another 20% on that from 1st Jan 2004.
Open Source suffers from rabid evangelist syndrome. I'm sure it's marvellous, but it would be nice if someone could talk rationally about it rather than frothing about how much better it is than MS product. And it would also be nice if, when asking basic questions, one didn't get hit with RTFM answers.