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View Full Version : Microsoft licences too expensive, say schools


MacBytes
Jan 16, 2006, 12:48 AM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Microsoft licences too expensive, say schools (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060116014814)
Description:: As Becta begins a review of Microsoft's pricing for schools and colleges, IT professionals working in the sector are adamant that they're paying too much although a spokesman for Apple would not comment on whether Microsoft represented value for money, but said that Apple did.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Bad Beaver
Jan 16, 2006, 01:25 AM
"Schools do not get good value for money from current Microsoft licensing agreements"

Anyone else? :rolleyes:

And this:
"Darren Smith, network manager at Mayfield School, Portsmouth, feels similarly: "The schools agreement is cheaper for us [compared with buying individual upgrades], but it's still overpriced," he said "We're teaching the kids to use Microsoft software, so in effect we're doing Microsoft a favour. All of these kids are potential Microsoft customers — the pricing should reflect this.""

Just makes me sick. This person openly admits that he's selling your kids to M$. And what's the aim? A better price! Not to educate your kids in a way for them to become computer savvy - just M$ savvy. Disgusting.

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 02:20 AM
Open Office, Mac, Linux and other non Microsoft alternatives for schools anyone?:)

50548
Jan 16, 2006, 02:36 AM
Good to see that Apple is taking a few shots at it, too...words by one Apple manager in the UK, according to the report: ;)

'"Small software developers have some really fun programs coming out and they have the same philosophy as Apple. People aren't there to be ripped off," he said.'

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 02:43 AM
Good to see that Apple is taking a few shots at it, too...words by one Apple manager in the UK, according to the report: ;)

'"Small software developers have some really fun programs coming out and they have the same philosophy as Apple. People aren't there to be ripped off," he said.'
That last comment was the main reason I posted the article.:p

Alistair
Jan 16, 2006, 04:32 AM
"Schools do not get good value for money from current Microsoft licensing agreements"


Just makes me sick. This person openly admits that he's selling your kids to M$. And what's the aim? A better price! Not to educate your kids in a way for them to become computer savvy - just M$ savvy. Disgusting.

I recently educated our school with the joys of Macs and we are now almost entirely migrated. We spent the same on Office licences as on all the other software (around 6' of cd cases on shelves!) combined.

Not only is it expensive and overkill for a primary school IMHO (our main secondary school insisted on us using MS Office), but seeing children's dependancy is worrying. They associate any sort of computerised text input with Word and due to the insistence that we use it, it can indeed only lead me to the conclusion that somebody thinks it more important to learn how to use Office than it is to learn skills that can be used across a range of platforms and packages.

On a positive note, we have seen an improvement in literacy (particularly in boys) since getting a couple of iBook trolleys, and general IT skills have flourished since implementing Macs.

dbhays
Jan 16, 2006, 09:55 AM
Two years ago M$ contacted our school district and threatened our school district with a $5000.00 fine for each computer running a microsoft product in which we could not produce a valid license and reciept for.

Most of these machines had valid licenses, but we could not produce the original license agreements that the software came with. Over 1/2 of the software consisted of Word 5 or lower, as most of the machines were purchased in the early nineties.

Thank god for Apple, they let us install Appleworks for free. They said we had purchased enough machines in the past to cover the fees.

AtHomeBoy_2000
Jan 16, 2006, 10:09 AM
I work as the TECHnology Coordinator for a Lutheran church and school. most of my computer work is for the church because the school has their own guy who fixes stuff and teaches computer classes.
We BOTH had the same idea, but differant ways of doing it. I want to switch the church over to macs to get us off Microsoft. Most of our computer problems stem from Windows! He wants to switch the school over to Linux becase it runs on their existing machins and he is so tired of M$ and Windows.
Unfortunetly, the school's principal insists that we should teach the kids Windows because it would be "preparing them for when they enter the working world". That's so sad that we have to dumb down our kids computer knowledge just fit with an MS world.

AtHomeBoy_2000
Jan 16, 2006, 10:12 AM
Open Office, Mac, Linux and other non Microsoft alternatives for schools anyone?:)
As soon as OpenOffice 2.0 is native to OSX (non of this X11 crap) and DarWINE ports over to x86 (we have a few church management apps that are PC only accoring to what I can find), I am beginning our churhc's transfer over to Macs.

Bad Beaver
Jan 16, 2006, 10:25 AM
Unfortunetly, the school's principal insists that we should teach the kids Windows because it would be "preparing them for when they enter the working world". That's so sad that we have to dumb down our kids computer knowledge just fit with an MS world.

The problem is that people actually consider this reactionary attitude to be a valid argument. Basically it translates to "we educate your kid to be a drone". I would guess that there are plenty of parents on this board. Please people, stop taking this! Make a fuss about wanting your kids to be educated in a way that enables them to make educated decisions about what they use for which purpose. Your kids are not drones. Act up!

stevep
Jan 16, 2006, 11:23 AM
Just makes me sick. This person openly admits that he's selling your kids to M$. And what's the aim? A better price! Not to educate your kids in a way for them to become computer savvy - just M$ savvy. Disgusting.
I'm afraid you have to live (and be sick) in the real world. Most people use MS Office for word processing and spreadsheet applications, whether you like it or not. I have yet to meet a teacher who 'sells' MS products, we just use them because they're the closest thing we have to an industry standard. MS Office is a damn good product.
If it helps, we also use Adobe CS and the Macromedia suite as well, as they are the 'industry standards' in print/illustration and web design respectively, and also damn good products. And, like many schools, we also use Macs as well as PC's - the former in the Art, Design, Technology and Media disciplines and the latter for most of the IT, Maths and English work.
And yes, MS licenses for schools are much too expensive (in the UK). So are Adobe CS licenses. And Apple hardware as well come to think of it.

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 11:44 AM
I work as the TECHnology Coordinator for a Lutheran church and school. most of my computer work is for the church because the school has their own guy who fixes stuff and teaches computer classes.
We BOTH had the same idea, but differant ways of doing it. I want to switch the church over to macs to get us off Microsoft. Most of our computer problems stem from Windows! He wants to switch the school over to Linux becase it runs on their existing machins and he is so tired of M$ and Windows.
Unfortunetly, the school's principal insists that we should teach the kids Windows because it would be "preparing them for when they enter the working world". That's so sad that we have to dumb down our kids computer knowledge just fit with an MS world.
Nothing like a bit of narrow minded conservatisim to slow down the learning process :rolleyes:

Airforce
Jan 16, 2006, 11:51 AM
Unfortunetly, the school's principal insists that we should teach the kids Windows because it would be "preparing them for when they enter the working world".

I don't see the problem with this. It's true. They will be working with Windows in the future, so this is the best time to get some basic skills. Just because some techs have to work a bit harder to keep things going doesn't mean the children should suffer and lose out on a little education.

PlaceofDis
Jan 16, 2006, 12:02 PM
I don't see the problem with this. It's true. They will be working with Windows in the future, so this is the best time to get some basic skills. Just because some techs have to work a bit harder to keep things going doesn't mean the children should suffer and lose out on a little education.

it is not true though. there is a good chance that they will need to work with windows at some point. so perhaps a windows machine or two would be worthwhile. but its no fact that they will be using windows later on, and if they are its going to be a different version of windows anyways. i have no reason or need to touch a windows machine. nor have i ever had to use one. i have on occasion. but its certainly not true that they will be using windows.

Airforce
Jan 16, 2006, 12:07 PM
i have no reason or need to touch a windows machine. nor have i ever had to use one. i have on occasion. but its certainly not true that they will be using windows.

You are one of a very small minority. Going from version to version doesn't mean much. I'm still using things I learned back on 3.1 these days :p

PlaceofDis
Jan 16, 2006, 12:12 PM
You are one of a very small minority. Going from version to version doesn't mean much. I'm still using things I learned back on 3.1 these days :p

maybe i am, but its a growing minority too. i think schools should spread diversity in computing. have some mac computers, some windows, and some linux. thats the only way to prepare kids to be ready for the real world, they'll be ready do use all of the different varieties of OSes

Bad Beaver
Jan 16, 2006, 03:37 PM
I'm afraid you have to live (and be sick) in the real world. Most people use MS Office for word processing and spreadsheet applications, whether you like it or not. I have yet to meet a teacher who 'sells' MS products, we just use them because they're the closest thing we have to an industry standard. MS Office is a damn good product.


You're missing the point. This is not about whether MS Office is a popular or quality program. It is exactly about the upkeeping of MS Office and the pseudo-standard it represents that drowns the world in messy proprietary file formats just to name one thing. It is about kids being told "this is what you work with" when they should be told "think about your options for solving a problem". It is about people who later-on can operate PowerPoint (and will employ it even if they're just sending you three pictures) but are ignorant about what "BCC" is for. It's about creating daft, dangerous drones instead of computer-savvy persons. All of which is not acceptable just because "they're the closest thing we have to an industry standard". I know I am talking with a lot of attitude here, and I am not even a pro-tech. Nevertheless I am sick of the lack of attitude that got us to and keeps us where we are. It is about not to be willing to put up.

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 04:16 PM
You're missing the point. This is not about whether MS Office is a popular or quality program. It is exactly about the upkeeping of MS Office and the pseudo-standard it represents that drowns the world in messy proprietary file formats just to name one thing. It is about kids being told "this is what you work with" when they should be told "think about your options for solving a problem". It is about people who later-on can operate PowerPoint (and will employ it even if they're just sending you three pictures) but are ignorant about what "BCC" is for. It's about creating daft, dangerous drones instead of computer-savvy persons. All of which is not acceptable just because "they're the closest thing we have to an industry standard". I know I am talking with a lot of attitude here, and I am not even a pro-tech. Nevertheless I am sick of the lack of attitude that got us to and keeps us where we are. It is about not to be willing to put up.

I'm inclind to agree with Bad Beaver. I think that along with being taught the physical ability to hold a pen or pencil and 'actually' draw/scribble or write your name and the written version of your spoken language from your earliest school days. I do also believe that it is important that children learn how to use certain software applications and computers I don't believe that this should specifically be limited to software from one specific company and or computer hardware manufacturer as this causes limitations by the users as to what hardware they will be able to use after they leave school (not including personal preference). I believe that in this day and age that it is important that teachers are competant and capable of teaching software on more than one platform -which could mean a bit more learning for some teachers although not necessarily stretching school budgets when you take the likes of Linux OS and Open Office into account. As long as Office software meets the standard I don't see that there should be a problem regarding being taught on Open Office along side MS Office, at the end of the day you still end up with a Word /text doc or PowerPoint/Keynote/presentation file.

The main limiting factor in this equation is the teachers lack of desire (closed shop mentality) verses the young pupils open shop 'its all new and easy to learn' mentality.

I also dont believe that MS will always be the leader in Office software or operating systems.

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 04:23 PM
Thank god for Apple, they let us install Appleworks for free. They said we had purchased enough machines in the past to cover the fees.

Wow! What a story... although I understand their insistence that you have valid documentation (after all, your IT people should be doing that, regardless of how old the licenses are), it's amazing that anyone would not just write off issues related to any versions of products more than ten years old, just for PR sake....

I'm glad Apple helped you out, and that it ended well. How did the students take to Appleworks?

EDIT: After reading this thread... so I wonder. How is IT purchasing being done in this case? Don't schools negotiate volume licensing at the district level at least? And doesn't a school district have enough seats to get a reasonable price? And in the case of schools...what about the cost of educational software (or don't they buy any)? I would guess that those licenses are not particularly cheap either....And why in God's name is anyone using Word 5? :eek: ;) :D

dbhays
Jan 16, 2006, 07:10 PM
Wow! What a story... although I understand their insistence that you have valid documentation (after all, your IT people should be doing that, regardless of how old the licenses are), it's amazing that anyone would not just write off issues related to any versions of products more than ten years old, just for PR sake....

I'm glad Apple helped you out, and that it ended well. How did the students take to Appleworks?

EDIT: After reading this thread... so I wonder. How is IT purchasing being done in this case? Don't schools negotiate volume licensing at the district level at least? And doesn't a school district have enough seats to get a reasonable price? And in the case of schools...what about the cost of educational software (or don't they buy any)? I would guess that those licenses are not particularly cheap either....And why in God's name is anyone using Word 5? :eek: ;) :D

We were using word 5, because it would have cost us to much per machine for new versions (see below). We have 20 schools in our district. By the way most of our macs are bondi blue imacs running OS 8.6. As for IT people, we have none. Usually a teacher at each site volunteers their time to maintain the computers after school hours.

M$ Software costs for CA schools through CALSAVE (per User). So if you have only 35 computers in a lab, but 1200 students, you need to purchase 1200 licenses. Don't ask why there is no 2005 products, I have no idea.

Office 2003 Standard for WIN 41.5
Office 2003 Professional for WIN 49.8
Office 2004 Standard for MAC 41.5
Office 2004 Professional for MAC 49.8
Publisher 2003 for WIN *1 23.24
FrontPage 2003 for WIN *1 34.03
Mappoint 2004 32.37
Student 2006 22.41
Encarta 2006 Premium 11.62
Visio Standard 2003 17.43
Visio Professional 2003 35.69
Virtual PC for MAC 7 31.54
Outlook 2003 12.45

nagromme
Jan 16, 2006, 07:20 PM
Unfortunetly, the school's principal insists that we should teach the kids Windows because it would be "preparing them for when they enter the working world". That's so sad that we have to dumb down our kids computer knowledge just fit with an MS world.
I really should stop saying this, but...

Students NEED to be using a computer as close as possible to the one they will be using in the workplace. That's just common sense--and for a long time to come, the workplace will be dominated by Windows.

Most of today's students will be using future versions of Windows at work. Maybe that's a shame, but it's true.

How do you put future versions of Windows into students' hands today? You can't--Windows XP is not good training for the future of computing.

So do the best you can, and give students the closest thing possible to the future of Windows. Put them on Mac OS X. They'll be learning about computing as it WILL be, creating and collaborating and learning--instead of learning about the malware-infested, user-unfriendly, trouble-prone mess that is Windows today.

Worst case then: Windows STAYS infested with malware, and students haven't learned the ins and outs of defending your Windows box. But the workplace will have people to handle those things FOR you anyway :)

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 07:26 PM
You may be saying WTF regarding IT people, but California is having some financial issues.

Mmmm, I'm sorry. That really sounds like an unfortunate situation. How big is your school district in terms of the number of students? The cost of equipment still seems like a small amount when it's diluted by the cost of educating every student.... I hate to be callous about it. I understand that California has financial issues. But I also feel like those issues are primarily the result of prolonged, abusive, and inept management. And making teachers manage IT for a school district with 20 schools is not the right way to fix that problem.

dbhays
Jan 16, 2006, 07:48 PM
Mmmm, I'm sorry. That really sounds like an unfortunate situation. How big is your school district in terms of the number of students? The cost of equipment still seems like a small amount when it's diluted by the cost of educating every student.... I hate to be callous about it. I understand that California has financial issues. But I also feel like those issues are primarily the result of prolonged, abusive, and inept management. And making teachers manage IT for a school district with 20 schools is not the right way to fix that problem.

We have about 11,000 students. At my school alone we have 1200 students in grades PreK-6th grade.

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 08:07 PM
We have about 11,000 students. At my school alone we have 1200 students in grades PreK-6th grade.

Mmmm...that licensing policy is a strange one. I could understand having as many licenses as there are active copies in use. 1200 licenses for computer lab usage seems excessive, to say the least. But the cost of modern computers in a computer lab is still marginal when it's diluted over 11,000 students.... Egh. I'm sorry for you for having to deal with the Cali school system, it seems. Do you think other school districts are as bad off as yours is in terms of equipment and software licenses?

greatdevourer
Jan 17, 2006, 01:47 AM
Students NEED to be using a computer as close as possible to the one they will be using in the workplace. That's just common sense--and for a long time to come, the workplace will be dominated by Windows.

Most of today's students will be using future versions of Windows at work. Maybe that's a shame, but it's true. Believe it or not, but a time comes when the prisoner is keeping himself locked up. Also, on that argument, they won't notice a thing if the server changes to Linux (some school did this and got 'emselves 30k back a year in licenses, iirc). Also, contrary to popular beleif, in many ways, Linux is easier to use (KDE is a dream to work within, Open Office supports a shedload of formats - even the Lotus Word one from the kid with the 1992 computer)

Fender2112
Jan 17, 2006, 05:40 PM
"Good value? If you have a good product, and spend money on research and development, then costs reflect that. It's not an unreasonable price, and customers still have a choice. I think it's cracking value," said Stephen Uden, head of citizenship, programmes and relationships at Microsoft Education UK.

hehehe ... that's funny. :D The keyword here isIf.

if ( good product && RandD)
{
charge = fair price;
choice = true;
cout << "Apple Rules";
}
else
Mircosoft screws you;

bigandy
Feb 2, 2006, 08:39 AM
microsoft licenses? not good value? too expensive?

my cat could have told us this! :rolleyes: