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IT News Thread, European Commission endorses open source in Other News; http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1...9285468,00.htm The European Commission has issued a ringing endorsement of open source software, producing a confidence-boost for businesses considering the ...
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    European Commission endorses open source

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1...9285468,00.htm

    The European Commission has issued a ringing endorsement of open source software, producing a confidence-boost for businesses considering the deployment of Linux and other free software.

    In a lengthy report into business deployments of open source software, published in full late last week, the Commission said that in "almost all cases" savings would be made by switching from proprietary to open source software.

    The bold findings come in stark contrast to assertions by Microsoft that Linux savings are a myth.

    The Commission's work is based on detailed analysis of open source projects in six European Union countries.

    "Our findings show that, in almost all cases, a transition towards open source [produces] savings in the long term cost of ownership," said the report, which was authored by academics at the United Nations University in Maastricht, Netherlands.

    Microsoft has attempted to persuade IT professionals and businesses that Windows can be cheaper than Linux, though its Get The Facts campaign. Get The Facts cited examples where Microsoft's software had offered a cost advantage over open source software.

    The EC report also issued encouragement for organisations considering the free Open Office applications suite. "Open Office has all the functionalities that public offices need to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations," the report said. "Open Office is free and extremely stable." It added that users were as productive with Open Office as they were with proprietary software.

    But the report issued two notes of caution. Firstly, it said that short term costs would be higher for organisations migrating, even partially, to open source, largely because of the initial cost of training. Secondly it said some workers may feel undervalued if they are required to work with free software.

    The European Commission has taken several strides towards encouraging the development of open source software.

    In October, it granted €3m (£2m) towards a project, called SQO-OSS, to test the quality of open source software. And just days before, the Commission extended its open source web portal, the Open Source Observatory, to develop interoperability between applications.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    Wonder if lots of schools started moving from Windows/Office Microsoft would give it to education for almost nothing , like £1 a license.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers
    Wonder if lots of schools started moving from Windows/Office Microsoft would give it to education for almost nothing , like £1 a license.
    Interesting point since if we send the kids out happy with using open source, businesses wouldnt need to train them, or they may infact get jobs where they are responsible for deciding what technology to use. To be honest i'd be very happy paying £10 a license. Especially they bulk in which we use it.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    IANAL but I suspect MS would fall foul of anti-competition rules, other vendors (unix,Linux) may claim that they are at an unfair (future) disadvantage if government departments had such a massive discount on MS products that companies had to pay for.

    I just hope that in light of becta's worries about 64bit computing that educational software suppliers are going to sit up and pay attention -they will at some point need to write their applications for 64 bit so it would be prudent for them to start using cross-platform techniques.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    I can see where you're coming from but £10 compared to £0? Surely M$ could argue that they are at the disadvantage as they are trying to compete with free software! It'll never happen though. £30 for a license isnt too bad a suppose.....

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    £30 for a Licence + £30 for office * 500 = £30,000
    + server licenses, + cals + TS licenses + exchange cals + upgrade costs + long term 'lock-in' costs all mounts up

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    yeah, you got a point. but atleast it's not £60 each. MS Exchange CAL are £1 a piece, i've heard that in industry they go for £30. We do get a (slightly) favorable deal on most things.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    good news, but
    Secondly it said some workers may feel undervalued if they are required to work with free software.
    wtf?

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    good news, but
    Secondly it said some workers may feel undervalued if they are required to work with free software.
    wtf?
    Exactly why we don't use much open source. The staff turn their noses up at it let alone the kids. We have a member of staff (office manager) who cant use word. EVERYTHING she does is in publisher. When you are facing that level of IT Compentency it would be almost impossible to try and implement an open-source alternative.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee_K_81
    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    good news, but
    Secondly it said some workers may feel undervalued if they are required to work with free software.
    wtf?
    Exactly why we don't use much open source. The staff turn their noses up at it let alone the kids. We have a member of staff (office manager) who cant use word. EVERYTHING she does is in publisher. When you are facing that level of IT Compentency it would be almost impossible to try and implement an open-source alternative.
    But I bet they use google.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    The staff turn their noses up at it
    This is the main problem I face with keeping my schools using Openoffice.

    When I started doing this job (4 years ago) - all the ICT money went into new hardware and I persuaded all but one of my schools to save money (MS Office was £60 then) and use Openoffice.

    Almost universally, teachers didn't like this because they were unfamiliar with the differences and no-one likes change.

    But, my view generally prevailed and Openoffice was deployed on all classroom and suite machines and MS Office on teacher laptops.

    When IWBs became prevalent, then we put MS Office on the machines connected to it to allow the teachers to use them with any issues.

    Since then, ICT Co-ords have come and gone - heads have come and gone and new ones have come in and wanted MS Office everywhere.

    Last month, one of my heads told me to put MS Office on all machines instead of OpenOffice :cry:

    On Monday, a new head said they want MS Office everywhere :cry: :cry:

    We now have reasonable hardware (following years of ICT ring-fenced funding) so there is money in the system to do this now - so it seems they are doing it :cry:

    But its just human nature to want the easy path - although all teachers could learn OpenOffice diffs and all pupils could have a copy at home - they don't.

    Illegitimi habiteo carborundum

    regards

    Simon

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    I know of at least a couple of users who would bitch about not using a particular app, but when you're _paid_ to do something, the tools you are given are perfectly suitable to do the job, and you're bitching because tool isn't $foo - which has two more widgets and costs $unobtainium amount - wtf?

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    @simon
    Can you not just quote relevent Becta/EU advise. The head is likely to become out of touch with recent technological changes in education. The advise from becta on vista/office 2k7 is clearly aimed at schools using OOo, talking in terms of compatibility (remember the technical specification). IMO what Becta are saying here applies equally to Office2007 as it does to Office 2003

    From Becta:
    "Becta is therefore calling on the ICT industry to ensure that computers
    for the education marketplace are delivered with a choice of Office
    productivity suites available, which ideally should include an open-source offering.
    The ability for schools to exercise choice is further restricted by interoperability difficulties and Becta is calling on Microsoft to improve its support for the ODF interoperability standard.
    There is also concern that the current lack of support for Microsoft's new file formats in competitor products (particularly free to education products) may exacerbate digital divide issues. Becta therefore advises that schools should only deploy Office 2007 when its interoperability with alternative products is satisfactory."
    http://publications.becta.org.uk/dis...AB&resID=28199

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    @SimpleSi: If you haven't purchased your licenses yet, you should point out to the schools in question that the imminent release of Office 2007 will dramatically change the way that Office works.

    I don't know if you have seen the new interface but it is dramatically different to anything that has ever been used before. The default file formats have also changed.

    Whilst MS has spent all their time messing around with the Office GUI, OpenOffice has stuck with the tried and tested interface.

    Now is a good time to make the move if you are considering a change to OOo or StarOffice. A brief presentation to manglement of the interfaces will easily show them how much re-training will be needed. The new interface will also require a complete re-write of lesson plans and instructions.

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    Re: European Commission endorses open source

    Along with BECTA/EU, you could also use various national and local government case studies where they've switched to open-source as good examples.



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