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Windows Vista Thread, Becta still don't like Vista. in Technical; Originally Posted by localzuk First, Linux and FreeDos are an option with many HP workstations and now some Dell stations ...
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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post

    First, Linux and FreeDos are an option with many HP workstations and now some Dell stations too. So they wouldn't have a windows license. It is an increasing trend as more and more people realise how much money Microsoft is actually costing them.

    Well yes, Becta are influential. They produce approved suppliers lists via procurement to save schools money (Catalist at the moment). The suppliers that work with schools will most of the time work to Becta guidelines (such as European Electronique, CSE, TME, RM, HP, Dell etc... They all work to Becta guidelines on many issues). They are a lot more influential than you may realise. Oh, and the LEA's which schools are part of definitely *do* listen to Becta.
    Suppliers such as Lenovo and Dell have very tentaviely started to sell their kit with linux preinstalled. I hope it's a trend that will continue, but the policy will only expand if consumer and business demand is there. There's also the Microsoft strong-arm tactics when it comes to pre-installed windows on OEM kit - the Microsoft grip is going to take time to loosen.

    A lot of people have found it very difficult to source the linux Thinkpad T61 offering that has been introduced by Big Red, why that was i can only assume is availability...... if i enquire from Lenovo or HP about a linux PC or laptop and the resellers comes back and says to me - 'sure, no problem that'll be a 4 week lead time' or they say 'linux preinstalled that's availabel in the uk Q4' then that's a problem. Where possible i go for stuff that's in stock 'cos there are invariably issues and delays with products ordered on request. That's the problem with the very noble linux PC idea if it's not readily available through the channel.

    I agree the Asus is going to be the first big linux success, they're expecting to ship 5 million odd in the US alone over the next three years. But you can bet the clamour for windows and announcements like those on the news page will mean a pretty even Windows-Linux split when sales are analysed a couple of years from now of the eee. Which is a shame, as just wacking Windows on the eee without heavy customization and tuning kind of defeats the purpose of the eee. And gives microsoft the opportunity to jump on the eee bandwagon without much effort on their part.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    Pity EVERY SINGLE stand at BETT is using Vista (apart from apple).... talk about mixed messages
    Actually, when I was down on Thursday, the majority of stands I seen were running XP. (Eclipse were running both Vista and XP!!)

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    Vista vs XP

    I too saw far more XP than Vista at BETT. The big companies and PC vendors seemed to have more Vista on show.

    ... and I wish I had a pound for every time I heard someone talking about replacing Vista with XP.

    The report on ZDNet (http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1...9292043,00.htm) made me laugh. I've not heard anyone say they are 'committed' to Vista, least of all a school!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I read about this last night
    I think Becta are being a little bit patronising to schools these days. All schools have computer networks of some kind and often have a permanent IT specialist or can at least buy someone in and advise them of best practices.
    Primary sector schools definitely do not all have IT specialists permanently to hand. Nor can they all buy in the help they need. Neither do all "IT specialists" know everything necessary about every field of the subject (which is why edugeek exists, I suppose).

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael
    Any school without an IT specialist can and do hire consultants who advise them accordingly. I've never come across any school who have said "oh but Becta have said this".
    Yes they can if they can afford them (lots can't). And I am quoting Becta's advice about Office 2007 and Vista at this school for the time being. The way things are going, we will probably be forced into Vista eventually (some of our new staff laptops are XP installed but only have Vista recovery disks and product keys, and the supplier says that we would have to contact Microsoft direct to get an XP product key to do a reinstall if anything goes wrong), but I don't have the time, expertise or support here to go down that road totally by choice and if Becta are giving me a way out then I'm very grateful...

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    Thumbs up

    @localzuk - I'm not quite sure why you spend 4 - 5K a year on licensing. I suppose it depends on the licensing scheme you use, but that's why I adopt a policy of buying software and not buying into contracts. This is for MS software and any other software for use in schools.

    In my experience, I encourage schools to implement training into their action plans. A prime example, is many schools spend thousands on interactive whiteboards, but then nothing on training which is just stupid. I don't think anyone would disagree there. Hypothetically speaking, if a school invests thousands on facilities, but no training, inspectors such as Ofsted do nail schools for this. I've seen it happen quite a few times as I visit various schools.

    I agree Becta are there to support schools, but I still don't they're as influential as they should be. The majority of schools in the next few years will no doubt begin to adopt Vista no matter what Becta say. In my opinion, they've gone about tackling Vista and Office 2007 the wrong way. Everything they mentioned was critical, but that's probably because of Microsoft's dominance in the market more than anything.

    @CyberNerd - I do agree that entering a schools agreement isn't a good idea and isn't cost effective, but many Education Authorities such as Birmingham allow you to buy Microsoft software and various other software without entering a contract, other than the standard user agreement which applies to anyone for that matter! Many authorities do offer this and if Becta directed more Education Authorities better, we wouldn't have this problem at all. This is my point why Becta aren't that influential because the problem still exists in great numbers.

    Office 2007 supports a whole range of formats, not just *.docx. There are plenty of Add-ons that are available which would remove the divide. I absolutely agree with you that part of the decision making process is catering for the majority.

    @torledo - Precisely, you've hit the nail on the head. It's all about supply and demand. It makes perfect business sense. I do agree that Linux and the Asus are suitably matched and installing Windows isn't as practical. Microsoft will inevitably jump on the bandwagon, however I have known of users installing XP, but not Vista, so Linux users aren't out of the picture just yet.

    @Andie - I didn't say they all have IT specialists or consultants to hand, however there is a growing trend. My prime focuses are on the education sector and I have a thorough understanding of budgets, systems and policies schools should adhere to. It all comes through experience as in any profession and as a result, I get a lot of work through word of mouth.

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    @localzuk - I'm not quite sure why you spend 4 - 5K a year on licensing. I suppose it depends on the licensing scheme you use, but that's why I adopt a policy of buying software and not buying into contracts. This is for MS software and any other software for use in schools.
    We bought office 2003 outright. It cost 18000 for the site at 30each . With an upgrade every 4 years that means 4500 per year just on MSOFFICE. Add in the CALS and OS licensing .... It would be better spent if it was all on training.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    @localzuk - I'm not quite sure why you spend 4 - 5K a year on licensing. I suppose it depends on the licensing scheme you use, but that's why I adopt a policy of buying software and not buying into contracts. This is for MS software and any other software for use in schools.

    @CyberNerd - I do agree that entering a schools agreement isn't a good idea and isn't cost effective, but many Education Authorities such as Birmingham allow you to buy Microsoft software and various other software without entering a contract, other than the standard user agreement which applies to anyone for that matter! Many authorities do offer this and if Becta directed more Education Authorities better, we wouldn't have this problem at all. This is my point why Becta aren't that influential because the problem still exists in great numbers.


    @torledo - Precisely, you've hit the nail on the head. It's all about supply and demand. It makes perfect business sense. I do agree that Linux and the Asus are suitably matched and installing Windows isn't as practical. Microsoft will inevitably jump on the bandwagon, however I have known of users installing XP, but not Vista, so Linux users aren't out of the picture just yet.
    That's a very sensible policy, and i'm sure you're LA (birmingham) would advice you against entering into a SA because you can take advantage of the phenomenal discounts as offered by their larger select agreement without being tied in to any contracts.


    Ofcourse even with an authority select (or is it campus ?) agreement the few quid you'd pay for a Vista upgrade license would add up to a couple of thou for a school wide rollout to Vista (if not phased). That wouldn't be an annual cost but it would be a cost occured as a result of an upgrade to a newer version. So even as one-off cost it's enough to make schools cack their pants.

    Obviously each school has to assess the business case for upgrading to Vista - finacnciacly and for use in teaching. For some schools it's a compelling case for others it's not....as education IT professinals you don't need becta to tell you that, I'm an IT professinal after all *supposedly* I can make my own choices and recommendations and a lot of people don't like a one size fits all approach so saying schools should not upgrade to Vista. period. sounds strangey like a one size fits all recommendation. Although I'm sure it's merely a recommendation and not a dictat.

    Obviously a lot of schools, particular primaries don't have that in house knowledge so i suppose they do look to becta for guidance. How influential becta are with some of their recommendations will obviously vary from school to school.


    I've just edited a comment a reply regarding 4-5K a year...looked back on his original post and localzuk didn't say he paid that much for XP per year so my comments on paying perpetual licensing is not relevant.
    Last edited by torledo; 13th January 2008 at 06:01 PM. Reason: re-read earlier posts.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    @localzuk - I'm not quite sure why you spend 4 - 5K a year on licensing. I suppose it depends on the licensing scheme you use, but that's why I adopt a policy of buying software and not buying into contracts. This is for MS software and any other software for use in schools.
    This is because we can't afford to buy 200 licenses at once. As cybernerd points out:

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    We bought office 2003 outright. It cost 18000 for the site at 30each . With an upgrade every 4 years that means 4500 per year just on MSOFFICE. Add in the CALS and OS licensing .... It would be better spent if it was all on training.
    Licensing is a costly part of ICT in schools whether you like it or not.

    In my experience, I encourage schools to implement training into their action plans. A prime example, is many schools spend thousands on interactive whiteboards, but then nothing on training which is just stupid. I don't think anyone would disagree there. Hypothetically speaking, if a school invests thousands on facilities, but no training, inspectors such as Ofsted do nail schools for this. I've seen it happen quite a few times as I visit various schools.
    Easier said than done. It isn't just down to money, it is down to time - and there is a lack of it available for more training.

    I agree Becta are there to support schools, but I still don't they're as influential as they should be. The majority of schools in the next few years will no doubt begin to adopt Vista no matter what Becta say. In my opinion, they've gone about tackling Vista and Office 2007 the wrong way. Everything they mentioned was critical, but that's probably because of Microsoft's dominance in the market more than anything.
    No, they aren't as influential as they should be, but this decision of theirs is helping a lot - people are waking up and realising they are actually of some use.

    And I don't think anyone should be saying that the majority of schools will be going to Vista, as this in itself influences other school's decisions. The more independently that the decisions are made the better.

    Office 2007 supports a whole range of formats, not just *.docx. There are plenty of Add-ons that are available which would remove the divide. I absolutely agree with you that part of the decision making process is catering for the majority.
    You would still be wrong there - the only format that supports all the features of office 2007 is the *.docx/*.xlsx etc. formats. Using any other format can result in the loss of saved functionality.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    When we budget we do not say that we need 350 for a desktop ... we say that we need 350 + licences + percentage of spares (etc) to put a computer on the desk in that location. We do the same for laptops and servers.

    This saves any confusion about the cost.

    With new machines we get in as of last sumer we purchase them with Vista and Office 2007 as part of this, but use XP Pro and Office 2003 at this time. This means that when we want to roll up to Visa as a common platform across various suites we can do whilst maintaining the cash flow.

    We are not likely to do Vista or Office 2007 this summer but possibly will the following year for the main suites. This will only mean a few extra licences that year ... but it all depends on user needs.

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    Hmm.. well.. if anyone does have a credible business case for upgrading entire schools to Vista and/or O2K7 I'd be interested to see it.

    Interesting to see the "Don't need Becta to tell us..." stuff. Me neither and I suppose crap techs who might benefit wouldn't read it in the first place. But techs obviously aren't the only intended audience and it's always useful to have relatively accessible "official" docs kicking around that support your opinion.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    We bought office 2003 outright. It cost 18000 for the site at 30each . With an upgrade every 4 years that means 4500 per year just on MSOFFICE. Add in the CALS and OS licensing .... It would be better spent if it was all on training.
    ouch !!! Those kinds of figures on licensing illustrate that large schools have the similar kind of issues found by the lower end of the mid market orgs in industry in terms of the cost of software licensing. Yet schools have a fraction of the IT budget, which is why open source applications such as open office must be so compelling - obviously there's the dreaded TCO to consider but OO is a mature product and the savings made from licensing can be invested in OO training or training in other application suites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    When we budget we do not say that we need 350 for a desktop ... we say that we need 350 + licences + percentage of spares (etc) to put a computer on the desk in that location. We do the same for laptops and servers.

    This saves any confusion about the cost.

    With new machines we get in as of last sumer we purchase them with Vista and Office 2007 as part of this, but use XP Pro and Office 2003 at this time. This means that when we want to roll up to Visa as a common platform across various suites we can do whilst maintaining the cash flow.

    We are not likely to do Vista or Office 2007 this summer but possibly will the following year for the main suites. This will only mean a few extra licences that year ... but it all depends on user needs.
    Great minds think alike, when I spec up for machines for places i do that, its Vista BE and O2K7 now downgraded back to match existing systems as it makes financial sense to do that now than have to do loads later on. Something that some people and places should take note of, its sense now to do it than not to do that.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    With new machines we get in as of last sumer we purchase them with Vista and Office 2007 as part of this, but use XP Pro and Office 2003 at this time. This means that when we want to roll up to Visa as a common platform across various suites we can do whilst maintaining the cash flow.

    We are not likely to do Vista or Office 2007 this summer but possibly will the following year for the main suites. This will only mean a few extra licences that year ... but it all depends on user needs.
    Ditto. I don't know when the upgrades will be done, but I do know that they will, so anything I can do now to lessen the financial blow at that time is great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    When we budget we do not say that we need 350 for a desktop ... we say that we need 350 + licences + percentage of spares (etc) to put a computer on the desk in that location. We do the same for laptops and servers.

    This saves any confusion about the cost.

    With new machines we get in as of last sumer we purchase them with Vista and Office 2007 as part of this, but use XP Pro and Office 2003 at this time. This means that when we want to roll up to Visa as a common platform across various suites we can do whilst maintaining the cash flow.

    We are not likely to do Vista or Office 2007 this summer but possibly will the following year for the main suites. This will only mean a few extra licences that year ... but it all depends on user needs.

    You are still paying, be it a lump sum, or incrementally. Of course it is sensible to include licensing, repair and disposal costs into the TCO, but it doesn't mean the cost is any less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    You are still paying, be it a lump sum, or incrementally ... it doesn't mean the cost is any less.
    True, but it does spread that cost. It also means that when we go to Management and say "we'd like to upgrade, please can we have x", x is a smaller number.

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