Microsoft’s Windows Vista, Office 2007 expelled from British schools

“The agency that governs educational technology in the UK has advised schools in the country to keep Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system and its Office 2007 software out of the classroom and administrative offices,” Paul McDougall reports for InformationWeek.

“‘Upgrading existing ICT systems to Microsoft Vista or Office 2007 is not recommended,’ said the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (also known as Becta), in a report issued this week,” McDougall reports.

“The agency said UK schools can consider using Vista or Office 2007 software only when they are buying new batches of PCs. Even then, however, they’re advised to take a long looked at alternatives based on Linux and other open source products, such as the OpenOffice.org desktop package,” McDougall reports.

“Becta’s advisory mirrors similar moves taken by public agencies in the U.S. Last year, the Department of Transportation placed a ban on the use of Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7 due to cost and compatibility concerns,” McDougall reports

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If they had any brains at all, they’d be using Macs already. Still, it’s a start.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rockin’ Rod” for the heads up.]

37 Comments

  1. Macs are the best choice because they are the best multi-OS platform. It’s not so much that OS X is their best choice as an OS, but Macs are their best choice for hardware to run OS’s on.

    An open-minded perspective when evaluating options is needed, and we’re finally seeing this happen in the industry on a large scale.

  2. You should check this out were BECTA is warns schools about MS School licensing scheme:

    “And if that wasn’t enough to make even the most wide-eyed head think twice, it then lays into Microsoft’s licensing strategy for schools, reiterating its advice not to sign up for the firm’s school licensing program.

    The agency reported Microsoft to the OFT in October because of its concerns over the “all or nothing” nature of the contract, which can see schools having to pay Microsoft licence fees even for machines running non-Microsoft systems.”

    Vista BECTA Ban

  3. @ MathiasLM: I agree. I just got back from the UK, and it was eye-opening.

    @ iDont: you obviously haven’t had beef and ale pie and a pint at a pub when you’re starving after a long day of exploring the countryside. MMMMMmmmmm… makes me hungry just thinking about it.

    When I was there, it was really funny is that every time I went to use my credit card, the cashiers invariably looked at it funny because it didn’t have a chip in it, and said, “Where’s the chip? Oh, you must be American. I have to swipe your card.” Seems like other than the iPhone and ubiquitous WiFi, we’re sliding in technology, too.

  4. I work in an educational setting and will make several comments. Firstly for my work in this setting, I use a mac -> keynote is magical! However, the profoundly sad lack of equation editor in Pages compels me to use NeoOffice as well for writing documentation requiring mathematical equations. This is a (minor) strength of MS office: it has equation editor. Secondly students are also highly conditioned to using Microsh*t software like office and windoze. We ran a trial for a year using Open Office in a room full of PCs. Students HATED it -> it was unfamiliar (but not too disimilar) and they did want to give up their security blankie as it were. This highlights the major problem: educational institutions want to reduce costs but linux leaves you out there on your own: no support. Microsh*t is well supported. So it makes a more sense for educational institutions, particularly small ones with limited budgets to head for what they see as tried and true: microsh*t. The cost of getting it wrong or failure (no just monetary) and fear of the unknown seems to drive decisions makers in these places to microsh*t. Seems its better the devil you know than the one you don’t. Talking that first step on the road to freedom and good software it beyond them. And thus microsh*t manages to perpetuate itself and create another generation of users.

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