Wednesday, 30 May 2007

nz schools vs microsoft

...Microsoft Office programs have been ordered to be removed from about 25,000 Apple Macintosh computers in schools.
The Ministry of Education did not renew its deal for the programs, meaning that students using the Apple computers will not have access to common programs such as Excel and Word unless the school buys the software independently. ...


NZ Herald article via slashdot

It's about time Microsoft *really* started supporting education, by giving schools free or almost-free licences of Office etc. All those kids will probably go on to use Office in their jobs/home PC's so help grow the user base.

But there's also a great argument for this being a good opportunity to switch over to NeoOffice (an OpenOffice implementation on Mac), or other 'office' type apps (the google suite?) - and show them there's not always just one solution available. I've used NeoOffice, and while it's features aren't as strong as MS Office, or 100% compatiable, it's still fully usable for doing most word processing/spreadsheeting functions.

So... should schools be teaching the 'mainstream' apps to make life 'easier' in future, or teaching concepts they can apply to any application/solution? Personally, as a trained scientist who was taught concepts, and had to figure out how, where, and when to apply them, I'ld go for the second option, but that's just me. :) As a Software Tester, the same principles apply, so I can walk into almost any Testing job and quickly get up to speed on the systems/processes/applications in use. Brings to mind the old "teach a man to fish" proverb huh.

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