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Microsoft: Windows costs less at school

Microsoft: Windows costs less at school

Microsoft recently commissioned its partner Wipro Technologies a study on open source, yet another, which compares the costs of open source software with those of proprietary software in the school environment. In particular, the study takes into consideration contexts such as learning, the productivity of teachers and administrators, and all the main types of costs (licensing, management, maintenance, etc.).

The investigation, which involved 73 schools in six different European countries , concludes arguing that “schools that use open source software spend less money to purchase operating systems and productivity software, but Microsoft’s products cost less in terms of management and maintenance.” Adding everything together, the report states that, in the medium term, schools using Microsoft software are saving money .

The study also states that students generally prefer to use MS Office instead of OpenOffice or other open source suites. In particular, about 50% of schools say that their students use Office with more satisfaction than its open source counterpart. In contrast, only 17-26% of schools say their students are more satisfied with open source platforms.

As always, this type of investigation raises many criticisms and perplexities not only among members of the open source community, but also among more neutral observers. For example, ArsTechnica points out that no British school appears in the sample of schools considered by Wipro : the latter justified itself by stating that in Great Britain there are very few schools that use open source, but a report by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency dated 2005 would seem to disprove this claim.