A good reason to go open source at school
This debacle over school computer software shows just how beholden the big institutions in society are to major software companies, and in particular – Microsoft.
The Government should have just stumped up the $2.7 million to keep Microsoft Office on those Macs, then vowed to go open source when the contract term ends – on all computers in the every school. That’s a good ten year plan to have anyway.
Microsoft has the right to be paid for its products and set its own licensing terms, but if the Government isn’t willing to meet its price and those terms, it has an obligation to look at more viable alternatives.
The Ministry of Education and the whole of Government need to take a coordinated look at a move to open source software. This may not have been viable before, but Linux is more user-friendly than ever before, which is why in the US, Dell has started selling PCs with Ubuntu 7.04 as an alternative to Windows starting at US$599.
Maybe Edubuntu is an option for New Zealand schools.
Read more: NZ Herald