[ubuntu-uk] Help get Windows out of schools

LeeGroups mailgroups at varga.co.uk
Mon Feb 9 17:32:18 GMT 2009

>> 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.
> http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID=B133763
> http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID=B99223
> http://www.software4students.co.uk/Microsoft_Office_Standard_2007-detail
> s.aspx
> http://www.ecostsoftware.com/microsoft/microsoft-office-2007-standard_p3
> 036
> 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
> contracts.
> ...in that order.

I  understand what we're saying about up front costs vs. support costs, 
BUT, even at £35 for a copy of Office, and £25 for a CAL, for a school 
with 100 PC's you've just spent £6,000. That's on top of the £1,000 to 
£2,000 (estimated) cost of XP/Vista that was buried in the cost of the 
PC hardware.

That's, say, £8,000 on MS software that could have been spent on 
hardware...  And it's not like it's one-off cost, with the gradual 
migration to newer versions of office, server and desktop software.

MS know education is the thin end of the wedge, if schools migrate en 
mass to Linux/OOo, the next generation of PC user won't be hooked on MS 
products. They know this but can't be seen to 'give it away for free', 
hence the 'cheaper' cost.


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