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Windows Thread, Netbook XP & Office licensing issue in Technical; Hi All I have something of a dilemma that I hope someone out there can help me with. Come September, ...
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    TheElusiveOrangeButton's Avatar
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    Question Netbook XP & Office licensing issue

    Hi All

    I have something of a dilemma that I hope someone out there can help me with. Come September, we're hoping to dish out around 300 netbooks (Samsung NC-10s and HP Mininiotes) to our Sixth Form students. The plan is to either allow them to buy the machines outright, or lease them over a period of two years (or one year for year 13), and let them keep the machines after they leave.

    Now, here's the problem. The NC-10s ship with a license for XP Home, so when they leave us, of course XP Pro and Office will no longer be covered by our license, and if we ask the students to bring their machines to us to downgrade before they leave, I don't imagine we'll get the response we might wish for. What I'd like to do is provide them with a seperate license for XP, which they can take with them when they leave. Would that mean we'd have to enter a new product key for each machine that we set up, or will it be covered because they have a license? Not a major problem either way, but I'd like to know before I do it, since we'll image the machines using WDS.

    The biggest issue really is Office. I'm scratching my head about this one because it won't be that much of an issue to provide them with Office Home & Student, but while they're here some will need Access or Publisher. I've had visions of setting up a Terminal Server which could run apps while they're here, and when they leave we disable their account, but it's not really as seamless an approach as I'd like, plus I'd need to think about TS CALs.

    Basically, whatever we decide needs to be as cheap as possible so that the sixth formers will be able to cover the costs. I'm also assuming we would not be able to provide OEM licenses, which means we'd have to spend quite a chunk on software alone, which would push the total cost higher than we'd like.

    So I throw it open to you guys. Any answers, suggestions, experience, or ways around this will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by TheElusiveOrangeButton; 7th May 2009 at 02:37 PM.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    Give them OpenOffice instead?

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton (7th May 2009)

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busybub View Post
    Give them OpenOffice instead?
    I did think of that, but we need to maintain compatibility with what the rest of the school runs, which is Office 2007. They'll need to be switching between their machines and the school's machines, so everything will need to be exactly the same. Even if I did try to suggest it, people far above me in the pecking order will decide that before the words even leave my mouth.

    Thanks anyway, though.

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    I think, as long as you're covered for licenses, it really doesn't matter what you use for a key. We are looking to get around 250 MSI Wind's this summer, which all come with XP Home, so we are having to buy Vista Business licenses, then downgrade them to XP Pro. Which then, we will image them all with one key. I'm not sure if we had bought a volume XP license at one time, or not, though.

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    Hmm, don't think this will work for you as you'll need .ac.uk email addresses but the Ultimate Steal for Office Ultimate for £38 is reasonably affordable [also does Vista Ultimate for £40]

    Microsoft Office Discount for Students - The Ultimate Steal

    I've no idea if there's an equivalent offer for .sch.uk

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    Actually I have thought of a potential alternative

    I know that MS will over the summer as part of their Live@Edu stuff (and therefore probably more generally) be releasing the ability to directly edit Office documents without needing to have Office installed - though you will have to be online to do so.

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    Mako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheElusiveOrangeButton View Post
    The plan is to either allow them to buy the machines outright, or lease them over a period of two years (or one year for year 13), and let them keep the machines after they leave.
    Can I just ask - Why are they going to keep the machines afterwards?

    If such a program is going to be implemented long-term, that's a lot of hardware being dished out per year. It would make more sense to me to implement a netbook/laptop scheme whereby the machine is returned at the end of their education in your establishment and have them sign for it to say it's paid for, by them, if returned in a condition of which it was not when originally loaned. The machine can then be passed on until they're too out-of-date, that way they're re-used which saves money and also maintains your license agreements, as you can keep XP Pro and Office on there for the next student to use. That seems like the cheapest option to me, instead of buying 300 machines per year and fiddling with licenses and software.

    Has the idea come from a higher authority? I'm sure that's already been thought about, but I don't see the reasoning of letting the students keep the machines.

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mako View Post
    Has the idea come from a higher authority?
    Yes. I'll say no more.

    I'm sure that's already been thought about, but I don't see the reasoning of letting the students keep the machines.
    We're eventually planning on rolling this out to the entire school of 2,500 pupils. (Where's the crying icon?) When the lease period ends, the machines will be at least 2, and at most 3 years old, which, given that they're netbooks in the first place, won't be ideal for passing on to the next batch of pupils. We're also hoping that because the machines will effectively belong to the students, they'll be looked after a bit better than if they're ours, and especially if they're 3 years old and have been treated in the manner which the young 'uns normally treat things. It also gets them a bit excited for the whole thing, which helps, and it allows us to create a 'pot' if you like, whereby the contributions of the first batch of users will pay for the machines we use in the second year, so we're not having to outlay cash every year to fund 400 odd notebooks (except for the first year, of course). At any rate, there's nothing I can do to change that part of things, so there's not much to be gained from discussing it tbh.
    Last edited by TheElusiveOrangeButton; 7th May 2009 at 03:07 PM.

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    Mako's Avatar
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    Yes. I'll say no more.
    Hehe, you don't need to. I figured as much, I was just double checking.

    Quote Originally Posted by nadeem View Post
    I know that MS will over the summer as part of their Live@Edu stuff (and therefore probably more generally) be releasing the ability to directly edit Office documents without needing to have Office installed - though you will have to be online to do so.
    I haven't personally looked into this so I can't really comment, but if it's a cheap alternative then I would explore it.

    The NC-10s ship with a license for XP Home, so when they leave us, of course XP Pro and Office will no longer be covered by our license, and if we ask the students to bring their machines to us to downgrade before they leave, I don't imagine we'll get the response we might wish for.
    Of course I would have to agree with the above OpenOffice suggestion in terms of the absolute cheapest option. You can't bend or break your site licenses to suit them, they have to keep within the agreement of the software and operating system that the laptop was originally purchsed with and also within the bounds of your school's license agreements. If they continue to another establishment, that place may offer to upgrade to their OS/Office license while they're a member of that establishment. While the students are still part of your school, using your licenses and software, the laptops are still part of your school and I assume you'll place some form of lockdown etc. When they leave they can do what they like with the laptops. You may be paying for an extended license or something just for them to disappear and put Linux on...

    After the students leave, they would be no longer a concern of mine. I would go for the cheapest option and make sure they understand that the netbook will be reverted to their original state, but on the upside they now own the netbook and can do whatever they wish with it. In short - buy the netbooks, upgrade to XP/Office Pro and downgrade when they leave. It may be more work for you but it's the biggest money saver I see, unless someone has an amazing alternative that's free. Kids will find ways of getting the things they want anyway.

    The bigger dilemma will come when you have to roll them out to the 2,500 kids you mentioned...
    Last edited by Mako; 7th May 2009 at 03:41 PM.

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    DrPerceptron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadeem View Post
    Hmm, don't think this will work for you as you'll need .ac.uk email addresses but the Ultimate Steal for Office Ultimate for £38 is reasonably affordable [also does Vista Ultimate for £40]

    Microsoft Office Discount for Students - The Ultimate Steal

    I've no idea if there's an equivalent offer for .sch.uk
    We've used RM's version The Basement which is slightly more expensive, but does work for all students (and parents of students) who in primary/secondary education.

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton (7th May 2009)

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPerceptron View Post
    We've used RM's version The Basement which is slightly more expensive, but does work for all students (and parents of students) who in primary/secondary education.
    Excellent, that could be just what I'm looking for actually. Am I right in thinking Vista Buisiness grants you downgrade rights for XP Pro? If it does, how do I get the XP Pro key?

    Now I'm thinking we can give them the machines with Office installed but no key, so we give them each a license and they can put it in themselves. However XP is still an issue - if I installed XP with our Volume License key, but provided them with their own XP licenses, would that be OK, legally?

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    denon101's Avatar
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    To get the XP pro key you just ring up Microsoft with your vista business key and they will give you a XP Pro key there and then. I have just done that for 32 machines recently.

    Hope that helps.

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    TheElusiveOrangeButton (7th May 2009)

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    Mako -> I forgot to mention that the Live@edu stuff is all free

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