The cost of MS licensing is too prohibitive for us . EES is a rip off if your not using office and even with the cost of MSOffice it was cheaper for us to license under a perpetual schools agreement.
Our school strategy for the last 5 or 6 years has been to allow students to access resources from home on their own devices as they would in school. This is the way of our secondary school at least.
This was ok in the old days of Office 2000 when a terminal server license was not required for each (home user) device that connected. Things have changed post Office 2000 and we would need to buy at least one office license for every student device. Giving staff access to MSOffice now undermines this whole strategy, and this in turn has a detrimental effect on teaching and learning.
post Office 2000 we have now switched our emphasis on LibreOffice and Google Apps. (LibreOffice doesn't require registration btw).
Google apps allows all our students to use and teaching resources created in school.
We have told teachers that they are free to continue to use their legacy MSOfice files in a read only capacity and we install MSOffice viewers for this purpose. Any NEW resources must be created in Google apps, or libreoffice if there is a Funtion that they cannot fing in google apps. This strategy has saved the school thousands of pounds compared to EES licensing and it has enabled us to use a BYOD model.
At our last BYOD count only 53% of student devices that were registered on our network are windows based. We have used this as evidence to SLT that a sole MSOffice strategy is unsustainable both economically and pedogogically.
The office web apps are pretty good, keep the same UI as the current version of office and have a decent featurset. You don't get publisher or access though. The web apps have very limited features compared to the full desktop apps but compare well to each other and probably have a decent enough amount for non power users.
The problem with smaller schools is that they tend to have a lot of part-time staff... and they're full time by M$'s definition. You have to do the maths in each individual case, but frequently EES ends up being more expensive to primary sector schools. :(
More thanks to everyone contributing.
I've asked our normal supplier (will look elsewhere too) for an EES quote based on both user and client number models. I have an ambition to offer any time, anywhere and byod facilities in the future, which is another reason to stay open source or free web-apps.
I tried to get rid of the registration feature of OOo, but only got it to work for the first user, which was always local admin before I add the client to the domain (I included OOo as part of the image to save time). All subsequent users are asked to register - info on how to fix would be greatly appreciated:)
I'll try Google Docs and LibreOffice over the next few days - already familiar with office web apps through using Skydrive at home. I don't mind using M$ when it's free! We don't have any form of remote access to documents at the moment, so web apps could move us forwards.
The formatting problems definitely exist - I experienced it first hand with 30 confused 6 year olds. They could, however, be easily overcome with a little planning. Like opening the document on a computer like the one the pupils will be using before the start of the lesson, or at least trying the same application. Given 20 minutes, I could easily sort the templates for them, it's just difficult when the kids are sitting waiting....
The online office web apps are supposed to have formatting fidelity with the offline office apps, and it's free for schools