Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”
@Eadon- because it costs less to licence MS + windows + servers than it does to employ a person who is skilled in the pre-requisites of such a Linux setup. £27 per PC gets us windows, all our CALS and office. Another 3k gets us 5 servers with all the VMS we need, sql, exchange, external connector, TMG and system center. Basically less than 20k per year. We cannot get a Linux sysadmin skilled in all the prereqs for that. Not to mention it would need a FULL rollout over the 8 weeks holiday with no system fallback. Me + assistant + guru would be hard pressed. That plus the change of MIS, retraining staff, students is simply not going to happen.
We binned open office (and libre office) due to the complexity of simple tasks such as:
-locking down a GPO of PCs under examination logins to remove spell check and grammar check facilities.
-universal templates based on logins (staff and pupils) with pupil templates residing on a central location edited by staff.
-feature lockdown for pupils i.e. dictionary additions.
-central rollout of default fallback styles
Old open office could accomplish this with a few batch files copying items on logon (the spell check logon was a bit hit and miss for the NEXT person logging in). This also meant that the files copied over needed access by users therefore COULD have been edited manually by certain people. Newer OO and LO do not let you do this anymore. In the end we use MS and GPO with system rights instead. Oddly enough MS then released EEC so we switched back.
I also assume you have never worked in a state school in a not-so-great area? We glue our power buttons so they cant be jammed open. We need to disable the intel hotkeys so all the screens aren't rotated 90 degrees permanently etc. Having an open Linux system would be tantamount to suicide from a tech point of view - I actually run a tech club (we play games for an hour basically) mainly so I can learn from the kids the newest driveby websites that screw up pcs or let them bypass browser lockdowns. I have also yet to see an open source system that can be rolled out and maintained by a small number of staff in the same way a GPO WSUS system can be- don't get me wrong I have 2 openfiler servers a few VMS with various FOG, apache, squid/dansguardian, moodle and "test" Linux distros (I tend to favour debian/ubuntu) and whilst i'm not technically inept MS has its uses.
Whilst open source is great in theory, it is only great if you have either lots of money to start with or lots of skilled staff. In the real world this is not possible and I does gall me to see people thinking open source is somehow free and that everyone should be able to do it.