[ubuntu-uk] Help get Windows out of schools

Andrew Oakley Andrew.Oakley at hesa.ac.uk
Mon Feb 9 14:04:35 GMT 2009

LeeGroups wrote
> There used to be a saying in the computer industry which was "Nobody 
> ever got fired for buying IBM".
> I think it's shifted to Microsoft. Speaking from experience, 
> most school "IT department heads" don't know that much about IT.
> They perceive it as a 'safe' option to go with MS, every if 
> it costs a fortune, because "everyone else uses it".

But it doesn't cost a forture. MS academic/home/student licences are
massive discounts.

For example, Visual Studio 2008 Professional is 75 quid on the academic
discount scheme, compared to 475 quid normal retail. MS Office Standard
2007 is 35 quid on academic, 270 quid normal retail. The academic
discount goes even further if you buy electronic delivery licences in
bulk from specialist academic software suppliers.



If you try to argue against Microsoft on grounds of price, you'll fail
every time. Home users, schools, universities and students don't pay
full rate for software. Only businesses pay full rate - and they can
claim it back against tax anyway.

The cost of licencing is peanuts to the cost of install and
maintennance. The important cost to a primary school is having to hire
IT geeks to come round and install stuff and promise to still be in
business on the end of a phone in 2 years when it goes wrong.

A bunch of well-meaning geek dads installing OpenOffice one week, but
then being too busy in three months' time to fix an issue with a
document infected with macro malware, is of no use whatsoever to a
primary school.

In the school sector, you need to distinguish your software by
premium-grade on-site support, compatibility with industry standards and
the applications' ability to provide CV-improving skills.

Want to fix this problem? Two simple steps:

1. Get local businesses to start demanding OpenOffice as a CV skill from
job applicants.

2. Get schools to demand OpenOffice support from their IT support

...in that order.

Andrew Oakley
Head of Software Development
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
95 Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1HZ
T 01242 211460  F 01242 211122  W www.hesa.ac.uk


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