UK schools advised to avoid Microsoft
Becta, the UK organisation which advises the Government on technology use in education, is advising schools not to sign licensing agreements with Microsoft.
The organisation says it has several concerns about the Academic Licensing Agreements, which it claims are anti-competitive, and has lodged a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading.
“Becta is determined to get the best deal it can for schools and indeed for the wider educational system, and to make it as cost-effective and convenient as possible for educational customers to acquire the ICT products and services they choose,” says the organisation in a statement.
“This demands… the avoidance of impediments to effective competition and choice.”
In January 2007, Becta published a report, highlighting a number of concerns that it said could impact on interoperability with other schools and pupils that choose not to use Microsoft products.
However, some of the issues raised in that report have yet to be resolved with Microsoft, and Becta is now suggesting that schools already in a licensing agreement with the software giant consider their buyout options.
“In the interim, Becta’s advice to schools considering moving to Microsoft’s School Agreement subscription licensing model is that they should not do so,” says the organisation.
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