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Ineresting line of thought but will it work?.
The only problem I see is support costs, with Windows you buy the software & the supplier is responsible for support.
If you download Ubuntu who provides the support? The support contracts for some Linux distributions is way more than the cost of an OEM copy of Vista...
Depends what you mean by support. How many schools send in error reports to Micro$oft? How many just treat bugs as features and work around them ... much as most people do at home. Schools arent going stress the Opsys or applications as much as a business, and if something breaks it is inconvenient rather than fatal.
Known bugs are addressed by the OpenSource community, as they are at Micro$oft maybe in a more timely manner, maybe not.
Ubuntu has a wide unofficial support network as with other software products. OK they arent paid by the company as in Seattle - but it is knowledgeable and responsive.
I dont believe the schools will be any worse off... and if the children come out of it knowing that the world doesnt start and end with Micro$oft is that not a good thing?
I'm not saying it isn't a good thing, and if you feel that the school admins won't make use of paid support then it can only be a good thing.
It's just that my customers re-sell surveillance software to schools and they demand, and pay for, quite high levels of support, so I just assumed they'd demand the same levels of support for the school's IT system, which after all is their main line of business...
"...with Windows you buy the software & the supplier is responsible for support."
Both products have a wealth of free support available via web sites and forums. That's why people come here even.
Canonical probably even fix problems for Ubuntu in a timely manner - compare and contrast with MS.
And as with any large organisation, there'll be an IT department for frontline support.
My bet is they'll get more, better and faster support for Ubuntu.
"The support contracts for some Linux distributions is way more than the cost of an OEM copy of Vista..."
I'll take a bet that so is a support contract for Windows. You don't get free, unlimited and everlasting support with it, you know. 90 days is normal.
I strongly believe it is a good idea. A bit like teaching different languages and this is IT.
I see no problems with them using this, why should their be? All the things they should be using the computer for in school will still be able to be done. Save them quite a bit of cash too.
Just heard that this report is not quite correct, from what I understand is that only Canton doing this is Geneve. Canton Zurich for EG is using Windows and MAC.
Paid Support is available direct from Canonical and costs are very competitive with Microsoft.
Although I confess to being a Linux junkie, I do strongly believe DippyGirl's submission, that children becoming aware that other options exist, is invaluable in education. One should not leave school with tunnel vision. If children leave with enquiring and open minds, the school has succeeded in my view.
alan14, you're sort of right, but not totally. Manufacturers are responsible for support because they pay Microsoft for "OEM" (cheaper) licences. In effect, this absolves Microsoft from responsibility for support and passes it to the OEM. But, large businesses do pay Microsoft directly for support of varying levels and rest assured; it isn't cheap!
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