The British ministry in charge of educational technology doesn’t think much of the latest products from the Big Monopoly.
The agency is recommending that schools not upgrade current computers to Windows Vista and only to use if a new computer comes with that OS.
They also advise skipping Office 2007 altogether unless the new version is implemented on an “institution-wide” basis.
The concerns over Vista primarily have to do with the high cost of upgrading computers to enable them to effectively run the latest version of Windows.
As to Office,
Interoperability is a major source of concern for Becta, which is concerned that the Office Open XML file format used by Office 2007 is not fully supported on any other product or platform. In contrast, the ODF format used by OpenOffice.org and a handful of other products is an approved international standards. Becta dings Office 2007 for not “effectively” supporting ODF and for its efforts to make OOXML an additional international standard.
On a much smaller scale, we are discussing the same “upgrade” or not issues about Vista and Office in our district.
But are there any features in this software, or many other “new” packages, that make them essential?
Would anyone really notice, or care, if we just said no to new software versions for a while?