UK government agency to review Microsoft schools licensing

By Derek Sooman on January 12, 2006, 2:24 PM
The UK Government is to review the impact of Microsoft Corp's educational licensing programs in the UK, and consider alternatives to Microsoft Windows and Office for the UK's schools and colleges. There is much indication that the use of Open Source software could save primary and secondary schools a great deal of money if used in place of Microsoft products.




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nathanskywalker said:
hm....[url]http://www.itweek.co.uk/computing/news/2148164/gov
rnment-question-microsoft[/url]Open source is one alternative, mabye the best.However, with microsoft you still have there technicall support and such. But then again, microsoft does have a rather large amount of legal litigations.
2old said:
I am sure that the UK govt would be able to negotiate or source a partner who would willingly provide all the technical support they need should they choose to go open source.But you can be sure Micrsoft wont let this go without a BIG fight. They dont want any high profile non-MS conversions. I see heavy discounts to the UK govt ahead.
mentaljedi said:
Wow, the UK government are using their head! At least they're not getting bullied by the American giants. Opensource is useful, but there just isn't enough of it at the moment...
cyrax said:
Finally, i positively think this move finally start the lowering the cost of education in the UK.
nathanskywalker said:
[b]Originally posted by mentaljedi:[/b][quote]Wow, the UK government are using their head! At least they're not getting bullied by the American giants. Opensource is useful, but there just isn't enough of it at the moment...[/quote]well mabye, and of course, competition is a good thing. Mabye if Microsof t loses a few "customers" they'll get it together.
yoyomama said:
For all those guests reading and not too familiar with open source, here is just a small selection the free software out there:www.openoffice.org(replaces M$ Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc...)www.gimp.org(replaces Photoshop)www.distrowatch.org(contains reviews of and links to free, secure Operating Systems)
blue_dragon said:
I hope other mations including some states in he US follow this trend so microsoft can stop slacking off
exscind said:
Openoffice is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Word. It hogs less resources, simpler to use (in my opinion), it's free, and seems to be built just that much more user-friendly than Microsoft Office. Microsoft products are often used by schools because of reputation, kickbacks, and the fact that school officials know most likely students will use those Microsoft products in the future. The latter is really the only legitimate reason (or excuse) that I accept. Because really, a person has a much higher chance of using MS Office than openoffice later on in life, that's just the truth. And well, Microsoft knows this; it's the old "start you off while you're young" trick. Once you're conditioned to like, or at the very least accept, Microsoft products, you will be more inclined to use their products in the future.Britain should be applauded for even considering on choosing an alternative approach though. It will expose kids to more programs, and therefore options, that they might not consider if not forced to while in school. And no matter the discounts and goodies that schools receive from Microsoft, it can't beat free open source. And the money to purchase Microsoft products could be directed to other fields of education.
otmakus said:
The biggest reason everyone is still using Microsoft Office is because everyone else is still using it. The majority of Office users don't even know Openoffice even exists. The very fact that Microsoft charge a lot of money for their Office products means they have a lot of money to advertise their products (and make backroom deals, give kickbacks, etc), while Openoffice is only there, with no/minimum advertising, except from mouth to mouth.Education system is the best sector to introduce Openoffice. The students don't have much money to spend, and they tend to accept anything free happily. But the ultimate sector will be the business sector. That is where the money and prestige are. It's a long way to have a serious competition to MS Office, but UK has made the first step.
MonkeyMan said:
Well, the UK is basically just putting out ideas. I'd like to see this actually put into effect. I think it will be hard to do so, because I do not foresee any alternative to using Microsoft Office. Lets face it, no other software comes close to Microsoft, it is number 1 period. If the UK uses any other type of software, it could place their educational system on the backburner, compared to other countries around the world. Overall, every other country will be more advanced educationalwise, and the UK would fall behind, because they would not possess the best software technology. Its the UK's decision, but I think it could be harmful to their educational system.
Masque said:
I think the biggest stopper to all of this in the UK (and elsewhere) is the fact that, for the most part, mommy and daddy are using MS Office at home and you'll end up finding compatibility issues with the kids homework back and forth from school.
CoLD_SToRAGE said:
As a resident of the UK I say, BAD IDEA.The added cost of Microsoft Office is far more desireable than the added cost of millions of school kids (soon to be our workforce) not being able to use the best and most widely accepted Office program in the world. Now I know a lot of people are saying that the only reason everyone uses office, is well, because every uses office. There is another reason though, just think back around 10 years ago, Office wasn't the de facto it now is, it had competition form Corel and Lotus Office suites, and in the earlier part of Office's life span, it had the smaller market share. How did Microsoft get where it is market share wise? Well it bundled it with Windows to make sure everyone used it of course........... wait an minute!! Nope, it was just the best office suite available, and to be honest, it still is. I love Open Office, I use it a couple of PC's and recommend it to anyone who cannot afford MS Office, or doesn't need the more advanced features. Open Office = Slower, less user freindly, more bugs (dont deny it!).... FREE!!!!MS Office = Fast, more user freindly (though improvements are needed, and I think Office 12 will bring them).... not free!! We cant cut corners on our future's education, though we can talk about it a whole lot to make sure Microsoft gives us a better discount!!! :)
luismigilbert said:
i love microsoft but i donŽt agree their prices... for windows xp here in Ecuador youŽll pay $140...then if you need office (i think everyone do)...youŽll pay $270 more...for $400 iŽll get a new computer running linux with open office...
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