I hate it. Why can‚Äôt schools just buy something for a cheap one off cost and then keep it. After all, we do not make a profit from using it unlike businesses.
We just had someone trying to sell us the Micro$oft School Agreement. What a con. How can they expect us to pay so much annually and say that it saves us money!
At the moment all of our OS are OEM versions.
With Office we have a mix of Academic volume licensing and OEM. However this is expensive as well. I want to start using OpenOffice.org 2 when it comes out as I think it will be the ideal replacement. The Head of IT reviewed it and said that they can cover all of the curriculum with it.
I asked Micro$oft if they were going to do anything about all schools moving to OpenOffice and after a lot of waffle they said ‚ÄúMicrosoft is a commercial company‚Ä¶ and I believe that ¬£50 for a copy of Office is fantastic value‚ÄĚ. Well, not when its ¬£50 x 400 PCs compared to ¬£0.
Do any schools use the School Agreement or do you think it is a waste of money too?
I know there is at least one school with MS School's Agreement in Powys, but I cant remember who as I "dont think" we see them at the powys IT meetings we (hardly) have (they probably dont need to talk about any software/OS stuff as it will be covered lol but still....)
I had a blast with OpenOffice and thought that it was nice, showed the ICT co-ordinator and was impressed until he tried doing something in Excel and it didnt work at all...
He said - no good lol and I tend to agree as (at that time there was) no Access-style program which he teaches the pupils.
He made a good point that if everyone is used to the MS office stuff and OpenOffice appears the same but does things differently, teachers wont want to use it as they'll have to spend "ages" learning how to use that etc.... Rather pay for something we know - it may cost a bit (about ¬£30 I think with us) but just dont buy as much or get more cash lol
I'd love to install OpenOffice in the school, but probably won't be allowed due to the differences with MS, and the staff learning process. I might just install it alongside MS Office anyway and see if staff use it.
If you shop around you can get MS Office 2003 Pro much cheaper. Our LEA Schools ICT Service charge ¬£49 (they reckon this is good value), but Ramesys only charge ¬£32 when I last looked (it may have gone down since then).
Select price for Office is ¬£30-odd quid. I just used Ramesys for a load of licenses - they chucked in some freebies and gave me the media (genuine kits, unlike those that County dish out!).
The only way a Schools' Agreement will work in your favour is if you can afford to replace a lot of your machines on a regular basis, so that they can support the latest software all the time, or if you plan on adding huge numbers of machines over the coming couple of years.
For most software, I prefer to buy site licenses because it saves hassle in the future - I also don't mind upsetting departments by telling them that they have to spend the extra money over some vaguely worded department license for 12 machines (when they know that their department has 13!).