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General Chat Thread, Upgrade plans. in General; Hi, I'm starting to look at next year's ICT budget. The business manager and I are keen to flatten the ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Upgrade plans.

    Hi,

    I'm starting to look at next year's ICT budget. The business manager and I are keen to flatten the budget as much as possible. ie, set in motion a 4/5yr replacement cycle for most machines.

    I've worked out a replacement strategy for staff laptops and the 4 main ICT suites. But am having problems working out in my head what to do with software.

    I'm generally of the opinion that the school should standardise on software across the board. Having the latest and greatest is not necessarily an issue but to a certain extent we need to 'keep up' with what kids are using at home - either the latest Works or the latest Office.

    We have Windows XP Pro across the board but Office tends to be either Office 2000 or Office 2003, with the odd Office XP. Most are Office 2000.

    Ideally I'd like to stanardise now around Windows XP Pro and Office 2003. But that means buying a load of Office 2003 licences.

    The big question is what comes next. Staring at my spreadsheets I got to thinking about Windows 7 and OpenOffice. Then setting a deadline of summer 2010.

    How do you guys manage keeping up with Office/Windows changes? Do you run mixed environments WinXP/Vista, Office 2k/xp/2k3/2k8? Or have you standardise around 1 system? Anyone planning to roll out Windows 7 whole sale? If so what sort of time frames have you set yourselves? Likewhys, anybody using OpenOffice only? If so how are you finding it? Did you move from MS-Office to OpenOffice? If so how did you manage the transition?

    Sorry if this seems like 20 questions - but I'm trying to get my head around the idea of a ICT development plan and budget.

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    IanT's Avatar
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    Hi tmcd35,

    What I prefer todo is stanardise as much as possible, Here at my school we all have Windows XP and a mix of Office 2003 and 2007, what i plan todo is upgrade all too Office 2007.

    In your case I would hang on for Windows 7 and push that out, I say keep up to date with the latest software.

    But make sure you have enough power on the desktops to run Windows 7 if you do go over to that.

    Ian.

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    I always standardise around one version of Windows/Office. I would find it a nightmare having 3 different versions like you do

    When I first got here there was a gradual change in place from 2000 to XP, but the move to Vista (or more likely Windows 7) will all be done at one time I think. Same with Office. Currently on 2003, no great demand for 2007 yet

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Apart from 1 lab - all our Pupil Machines are windows Vista (the other lab is, hopefully, just temporary so its XP all round..)

    Teacher PCs however - are virtually all XP - we do have about a dozen Vista - nightmare on the old MAK keys as we dont have enough to register them into KMS.. (Pupils have a KMS but its on a different subnet and VLAN.. If anyone knows how to get that KMS talking to everyone I would appreciate it!)

    We are now looking at replacing all our Staff PCs in the very near future - as in - as soon as i get some figures together! - and We'll be switching over to Vista

    Almost everyone has Office 2007 - though there are a few Office 2000 thru 2003 about..

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Get yourself on to propper education volume liscencing with software assurance, this way you get enough liscences for all of your PCs and the versions stay current so that as new versions are released you can upgrade to them without any additional charge. This form of liscencing is heavily discounted and is defintely the best plan if you want to keep up to date.

    I agree with all of the standardisation comments above, we are as much as possible (still some old dirt machines) with Vista/Office 2007.

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    (Pupils have a KMS but its on a different subnet and VLAN.. If anyone knows how to get that KMS talking to everyone I would appreciate it!)
    All you need to do is setup a record in the Staff VLAN DNS that points to the student KMS:
    Volume Activation 2.0 Deployment Guide

    If there is no routing between the two networks you will need to set up a static route for just that server and limit it to TCP port 1688

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    plexer's Avatar
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    We have XP Pro and Office 2003 on all the machines.

    I also need to sit down with the business manager and plan for the future regarding where we go next and it will likely also be Windows 7 and whatever version of office is then out.

    Ben

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    Office 2003 and XP Pro on the curriculum mahcines. Some laptops have Vista (blah, not purchased by me) and all the admin machines have Office 2007.

    Will be looking at Windows 7 and 2007 (or whatever is around then) as well.

    It's nice to keep it all standard.

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    contink's Avatar
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    I've had the bombshell dropped on me that virtually all my schools (all primaries) will have little or no money for the next 3 years which has blown my 4 year gradual plan.

    Now thinking of introducing 2007 (or equivalent) about 6 months before Windows 7 so they get used to a new Ribbon style that will doubtless be standard by then. I suspect two massive changes (OS & Office) will blow many of the teachers into a frenzy of "Can't do it!" so staged deployment definitely required IMHO

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    tmcd35 (21st January 2009)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies so far. Yeah, definitely want to standardise. OS wise it's a no brainer. We're fin on XP Pro now, I don't think there will be any other choice than Windows 7 (regardless of my own personal feelings (see other threads)).

    It's what to do about Office and how to manage the costs I can't get my head around.

    Do we not have any OpenOffice converts here? I'd like to here how people are getting on with that. I see it as having three choices...
    Stop at Office 2003, the last decent version of Office IMHO
    Move to OpenOffice and keep up with the latest there
    Bight the bullet and upgrade to Office 2007/whatever's next.

    In terms of cost. Does software assurance really save money? and what happens to my existing licences? The way I see it, Windows and Office are both upgraded what once every 4-5 years. Will it really be cheaper moving to another licensing scheme when no updated versions are coming along? Also, what do people think of buying into every other version.

    So we have Win XP, skip vista, Get Win 7, skip Win 8, get Win 9...
    likewhys - Office 2003, skip 2007, get whatevers next?

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Standardised on Win2003 Server, XP Pro, Office 2003 and it will probably stay like that for the next three years.

    Butuz

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    In terms of cost. Does software assurance really save money? and what happens to my existing licences? The way I see it, Windows and Office are both upgraded what once every 4-5 years. Will it really be cheaper moving to another licensing scheme when no updated versions are coming along? Also, what do people think of buying into every other version.

    So we have Win XP, skip vista, Get Win 7, skip Win 8, get Win 9...
    likewhys - Office 2003, skip 2007, get whatevers next?
    You still keep your existing liscences and can revert back to them at any time, it depends on how cheap you get the full software at the moment I guess as to how cost effective it would be for you. MS are trying to push out software versions at a quicker rate now and are also looking more into the subscription model so it could be more worthwhile in future.

    The other thing is from a budget prespective, there is a set cost each year rather than having to guess what the next version will cost. With our agreements wwe also get package deals that include other software like visual studio any you also get access to the software assurance benifits/software which can help make deployment and managment a whole lot easier.

    I think that your best course of action to make the most informed decision is to talk to a supplier/your LA and find out how much Volume with SA would actually cost and go from there. You can also add SA onto existing volume liscences i beleive.

    A lot of highly risk adverse businesses follow the two step upgrade missing out every second release which works for them but can bring challanges with compatibility regarding clients and customers who have already moved on.

    Overall once teaching staff get over their initial fright about Office 2007 the new UI proves to be a huge sucess in all of the places that I have implemented it and the program is being used much more fully because of it so I don't think that it is the devil that you make it out to be.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Ideally I'd like to stanardise now around Windows XP Pro and Office 2003. But that means buying a load of Office 2003 licences.
    You could go for Terminal Servers to do application publishing for your copies of MS Office. That way, in the future you could buy maybe Linux-based thin clients capable of web browsing and connecting to your TS machines to run MS Office.

    --
    David Hicks

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Currently downloading Windows 7 to have my first real look at it. Be fun to remove Vista from the 'beta testing' machine and see if the new OS is an improvement.

    Been playing with some figures. It seems to me that the MS Desktop School agreement would come in at around £8000 per year. A one-off all systems upgrade would be roughly double that under the current select license. Upgrading just the OS and using a free office suite would be in the region of £8000. Then we would have an £8000 'blip' in the ICT Budget every 4/5 years when M$ upgrades the OS. Or a £16000 'blip' with Office.

    On a similar note - anyone looking at 64bit yet? Again what are peoples thoughts on this? Going 64bit with Windows 7, already 64bit, or sticking with 32bit?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Every machine (Admin, Staff, Pupils) run the base of Windows XP and Office 2003. That will soon change as the Pupils and Staff will be going over to Linux. Only people that wont be is the admin team.

    Staff are opposed to it but they can either like it or not use it, its that simple. Headteacher and Governors have approved it so nothing they can do!

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