So about that Microsoft licensing

Anyone else licensed Microsoft software lately? I've been trying to avoid it.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor

Anyone else licensed Microsoft software lately? I've been trying to avoid it. We already have some "Open Academic" licenses in place for the high school computer lab software (Office 2007) and for some Vista testing. Since we added "Software Assurance" we've been able to install Office 2008 on our Macs. However, I've been showing as many people as will listen OpenOffice and NeoOffice. I'd rather not bother with Campus Agreements, Software Assurance, or the $100 a license price tag associated with an upgradeable version of Office.

And yet, despite the costs and general hassles of a traditional licensing scheme, people are still demanding Office. I've shown them the inherent compatibilities and described both the advantages and disadvantages of OpenOffice. I've explained what it will mean to license Office for the 3-400 computers we're rolling out this year. Unfortunately, although everybody seems happy to install OpenOffice for home use (they won't pay for the software themselves), they still seem to perceive Office as critical to business and educating students.

So as I dig further into the licensing requirements, I'm trying to find something that can save us some money beyond the standard academic discounts. A site license, for example, or some other blanket cost that simply covers us for some period of time. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing it.

I can swing Office on teacher and staff computers. I'd rather not, but this cost is not extraordinary. However, I think it's time to increase my lobbying efforts and make sure that the hundreds of student computers we're rolling out aren't running Office. There are simply too many hardware needs in the district to justify sending $20,000 or more to Redmond.

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