Wesley Fryer has a nice take on Vista and schools.
He says, among other things:
Well, Windows Vista is now on the market, but my question is: Do any educators care? I don’t know of any midwest U.S. school districts planning to make the transition to Vista anytime soon.
I'm skeptical too. (But you knew that. ;> ) Really, though. What's the attraction? I'm not sure what genuine benefit, matching the amount of money that would have to be spent and the effort to upgrade, that schools get.
What happens when your current licenses run out, though, or when MS comes aknockin' and says, upgrade or else? (I'm not exactly sure how all the licensing systems work but I believe in general, you have to upgrade sooner or later.)
Open source, perhaps?
I'm not saying OpenOffice.org and Linux are for everyone, but I think they deserve serious evaluation by any educators with limited budgets. (I assume that's pretty much all school districts.) When the software doesn't cost anything, that frees up an awful lot of money. Which means students and teachers can get a better education, better facilities and supplies, and better salaries.
But it's a pain to switch. Yes. Any change is a pain. Switching from WordPerfect to Word was a big pain for most people, who left WP kicking and screaming. It's part of using computers.
Just take a real look at each side. For staying with Microsoft and for going with open source, evaluate all the money and training and lost time and converting the documents and installing the software and networking and everything else. Then when you have all the facts, do a comparison of what it really would be like on Vista and MS Office 2007, versus what it really would be like on Linux and OpenOffice.org (and Firefox and Moodle and the other cool education-related pieces of open source software out there).
One public organization with 3000 employees is saving 2.8 million dollars over the next six years, just by switching to OpenOffice.org. That's a lot of money.