Feeds

So why do so few UK schools use Open Source?

Open Source in Education Conference 2003

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Yes, it's the Open Source in Education Conference 2003, a "National Conference to explore the use of Open Source software in UK Primary and Secondary Education Institutions".

The gig's organised by Anglia Polytechnic, the date is Friday, 4 April, the venue is in Danbury Conference Centre in Danbury, Essex, and the cost is £79+VAT. The full spiel is here.

The most basic aim of the conference is to "raise awareness of open source as an alternative solution".

This is an interesting challenge. UK schools are a cautious bunch when it comes to what they call ICT. The primary school in the village where I live for example declined to accept my donation of educational software CD-ROMs -brand new, still in the wrapper -"because they might have a virus".

Most state secondary schools and the vast majority of primary schools do what their LEA tells them. And most LEAs are thrall to their suppliers, the likes of RM and Viglen, and soon, if Greg Dyke has his way, the BBC.

But school IT budgets are limited, and getting squeezed: so where better to look for cuts than software costs?

The educational sector is a nice little earner for Microsoft: in 2001, Viglen won a contract to supply all of Northern Ireland's schools with MS Software. The deal covers up to 40,000 desktops in 1,380 schools and is worth an estimated £3.8m over five years.

Clearly there is some hefty discounting going on. Even so, Microsoft has received some unwelcome attention for its pricing policies. In July 2002, the company came under fire from Bob Blizzard, a Labour MP, for unfairly 'hoovering' millions of pounds from UK schools. ®

Related Stories

Microsoft 'hoovers millions' from UK schools - MP
Microsoft 'hoovers millions' from UK schools -update

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.