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Open source slashes school IT budgets

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by ovi, May 16, 2005.

  1. ovi

    ovi Guest

    The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) has reported that schools using open source software could halve the cost of IT.

    The report, part of which was leaked earlier this month, found that the cost per PC for primary schools in the UK using open source software was half that of those running proprietary software, and 20 per cent less for secondary schools.

    The traditional perception that open source software is harder to support was disproved by the report, which surveyed 48 schools across the UK. Open source software was found to cut support costs by up to 60 per cent.

    "This report indicates that open source software can provide a cost-effective and efficient solution in schools if effectively deployed," said Owen Lynch, chief executive at Becta.

    "Becta believes that software used in schools should be of a high quality and adhere to open standards, enabling compatibility and interoperability between products.

    "Becta will now be undertaking more extensive research across a wider range of institutions to allow further analysis of these issues."

    The report suggested that the best performing schools were those running dual-platform PCs. This gave the advantages of open source's cost reductions while guaranteeing interoperability with commercial software.

    Also key to the successful implementation was having an "informed and experienced [open source] champion" who could manage the whole process.

    Source: vnunet.com/news/1163040

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