Poll: Have you migrated away from MS Office?

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Office Software Thread, Anyone ditched MS Office yet? in Technical; Anyone got rid of office and gone open source to save a few quid on licensing. If so, has this ...
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    KWestos's Avatar
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    Anyone ditched MS Office yet?

    Anyone got rid of office and gone open source to save a few quid on licensing. If so, has this had an affect on SIMS reporting etc or any other application, exam board.

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    We were just discussing this as an option this morning, but it would only be for the students here as I was under the impression that SIMS Reporting and other features required MS Office to function.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryITGuy View Post
    We were just discussing this as an option this morning, but it would only be for the students here as I was under the impression that SIMS Reporting and other features required MS Office to function.
    Yeah I am under that impression too. I think SIMS requires MS Office and Open Office isn't compatible.

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    Was discussed in the last place I worked. Unfortunately they found the database too difficult to get to grips with and stayed with MS Office. I ended up putting OO on the machines too but it was requested that it was removed by some members of staff as it was causing a little confusion with what pupils where using. This wasn't possible as not all areas of the school had MS Office installed so OO was their only office package. And you just know that people aren't capable of using Save As to make sure you can open it elsewhere

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I've taken the liberty of adding a pole above - I was actually planning on asking this anyway.

    With the desire to work remotely via Citrix, licensing of MS Office is a nightmare - read 'damn near impossible' - and looking ahead to the innevitable upgrade from our existing 2003 licenses to 2007 just to upgrade what we have now would be in the region of 12k!

    It is just not sustainable to stick with MS Office. I know that there is the argument that MS Office is an 'industry standard' but there is also the argument that we should be teaching transferable skills... and what happens if the kids move to France where very few people use MS Office now?

    I think it is also unfair to expect pupils to purchase MS Office for use at home... even 40 for a student edition is far too much for some and we should not be advocating software piracy.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Pole - is that someone from Poland? Or do you mean poll?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Along with OO.org, has anyone looked at Google Apps as a possible replacement?

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    linescanner's Avatar
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    Some of the issue is that the exam boards (should be vendor neutral) are not.
    They still say things like open excel spreadsheet etc.
    I run our company off Open Office and have had very very few issues. I have a school of 650 pupils that are using Star Office 8 on Linux desktops.....the kids are fine, the staff took a bit of time to learn new ways.

    You need quite a bit of SLT support to get it through. The move is probably less painful than 2003-2007.

    Open Office can be set to auto save in .doc format also to help the migration

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    The resolution needs to come from above. I mean the LEA and others like these that insist on sending documents through in Office format. We have no need to go to 2007 but the LEA send documents though in 2007 format. Now i have to install the file converter for them. If they used neutral formats then it wouldn't be a problem. Only if the docs have vb that isn't supported by others, should the MS Office format be used. I currently run iWork '08 on the OS X side and Office 2003 on the Windows side here. Office 2003 in the admin area, with the exception of the deputy head who uses Pages throughout and to be honest loves using it and now never uses Office 2003 at all.

    Just a pain to remember to save as a .doc format as sending .pages through hotmail is a nightmare

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    Pole - is that someone from Poland? Or do you mean poll?
    You mean you can't see the dancer in my office

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    The resolution needs to come from above. I mean the LEA and others like these that insist on sending documents through in Office format. We have no need to go to 2007 but the LEA send documents though in 2007 format. Now i have to install the file converter for them. If they used neutral formats then it wouldn't be a problem. Only if the docs have vb that isn't supported by others, should the MS Office format be used. I currently run iWork '08 on the OS X side and Office 2003 on the Windows side here. Office 2003 in the admin area, with the exception of the deputy head who uses Pages throughout and to be honest loves using it and now never uses Office 2003 at all.

    Just a pain to remember to save as a .doc format as sending .pages through hotmail is a nightmare
    There are ADM files available to force OOo to save in .doc and to force Word to save in .odt (and likewise for other filetypes). OOo now reads and writes Office 2007 files too.

  12. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    HodgeHi (4th November 2008)

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Yeah I am under that impression too. I think SIMS requires MS Office and Open Office isn't compatible.
    Just checked specs and MS Office is required.

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Just to put a bit of balance in the argument my opinion is that MS Office (especially in 2007 guise) is way ahead of Open Office (and Star Office) in terms of features and functionality. We've looked at migrating in the past but other than the costs savings there aren't any good reasons to move away from Microsoft Office IMO.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Just to put a bit of balance in the argument my opinion is that MS Office (especially in 2007 guise) is way ahead of Open Office (and Star Office) in terms of features and functionality. We've looked at migrating in the past but other than the costs savings there aren't any good reasons to move away from Microsoft Office IMO.
    I'm glad that you are balancing the argument slightly... which features do you think that OOo is lacking at the moment.

    Obviously VB support is poor and certain API calls are different - hence the need to keep MS Office for SIMS use.

    Remote access is seen as a high priority for our school to allow 'anywhere learning' and the restrictive per-device licensing model of the MS Office family means it is impossible for us to license it. OOo may not have an identical featureset but it is sufficiently similar for our needs (excluding SIMS use).

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Just another SIMS point: As teachers are encouraged more and more to use SIMS in the classroom, we are forced to use MS Office on those classroom machines. If we are using it on teachers machines, I can't see that we can then use OO everywhere else.

    Don't want to sound negative, I would love to ditch MS Office, well MS in general but I can't see a way round this one unless SIMS supports OO at some point.

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