Home > stuff > Microsoft for Apple leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Microsoft for Apple leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The school newspaper where my wife is a student reported yesterday that William and Mary would start giving students an option for what computer (and thus operating system) they could run. Apple will be coming to the campus starting this summer. I’m all about giving people an option away from Microsoft and Apple isn’t a bad way to do just that. What got me was the sentence “IT Services will continue to offer Microsoft Office to students at reduced prices.” I simply cannot understand why a college or university wouldn’t be pushing open source solutions to students that are already on a fixed income. And while $90 is a lot better than paying regular price for another broken Microsoft product I prefer my OpenOffice software. It does everything that Microsoft Office does only better.

Categories: stuff
  1. 2008-04-23 at 15:32 EST

    That’s simple. The University already paid for it and are trying to recoup costs. Basically, Microsoft offers schools a large set of software for all computers but only if they agree to buy a large set of Office/Windows/etc that they can offer to their students. Most Universities can’t switch off of Windows because a lot of core applications run on only on for Financial Aid, Recruiting, Government reporting, etc etc. These aren’t small apps that can be rewritten in a short while because they generally require a lot of ‘legal’ knowledge + specialized forms and CRM/ERP software. Add onto that a lot of schools got caught with their pants down in the 1990’s and early 2000’s with all the pirated versions of Windows they had on campus. This meant that they had to enter letters of agreement on staying legal which brought into the ‘deals’ that they can get a discounted version but usually have to buy enough to cover everyone who is on campus. At which point they need to recoup costs so they sell the students a discounted version. To not do so would be a money loser for the school.

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