BECTA has reported more fully on Microsoft and their office products. They don’t like it – a lot of money for little gain for most people. Having just ordered 2 new computers for work (with XP and Office 2007) I will get to see what all the fuss is about at last. Giving Vista a wide berth of course.
These are my favourite bits of utter madness regarding school licensing :-
- If a school is using some Apple computers that are not running any Microsoft software they must still pay Microsoft annual licence fees for those computers, even though they are running software supplied by Microsoft’s competitor.
- If a school wants Vista on some computers under its subscription agreement but decides to set up an internet access lab using computers that were purchased in (say) 2002 and that cannot run Vista, the school must still pay Microsoft annually as if it was actually running Vista on those older computers.
- If a school sets up a small network in its computer science department running an open source operating system such as Linux, to ensure that pupils have as wide a range of ICT skills as possible, it will have to pay Microsoft annual licence fees for each of the Linux PCs in the school.
We can’t switch yet to openoffice for everyone at work because MS XL still has a killer feature (shared workbooks) which we use all the time. Google docs is not an option for us in a small office but does work well between individuals. It is being worked on at OOo, though.
We (kids) use Ubuntu at home (currently 7.04) and it “just works” – apart from when they try and run an EXE file from school. No loss there then.
I am still on SuSE 9.3