Quick, someone warn the colonials!
To quote Harry Enfield... "I saw you coming"
Maybe 5 years ago, RM had USP products like RM Tutor, SmartCache and stuff like EasyLink. These days the world has moved on and all of these things can be found in the FOSS arena. Having decent techs is much more important than bowing to RM's empire.
RM buy end-of-line components and sell them as new for another three years in platforms like the woeful RM One desktop (ours are always going back under our SLA, not one of the Dells we are gradually replacing them with has been a problem).
Some of their higher-end desktops are good kit though, but they never get installed in anything other than specialist applications - too expensive to go on the general desktop.
CC3 to CC4 is a huge cost for most schools, mostly just to support Windows 7 desktops. Thankfully for cash-strapped schools there is the option to remain on CC3 now MS have given the XP downgrade a significant stay of execution. Or go vanilla - it can all be done without RM in the way at every level.
Here's a clue to what's happening in educational ICT:
= BSF is dead - RM's main cash-cow over the last few years
= QCA was canned - so no-one is around to give GCSE equivalency to BTEC or OCR Nationals
= Many local authorities are questioning the voracity of OCR Nationals ICT in particular, claiming that the way it's taught means students get little from it.
= New baccalaureate omits ICT and Technology from the core curriculum
= 40 new technical colleges to be created to take students from 14 on vocational courses, removing the need for schools to deal with anything but GCSEs and A levels
ICT will no longer be a feature in the regular GCSE curriculum. Too expensive to maintain a decent level of kit in both age and numbers, it will become a specialist subject taken by a few, and is likely to be prioritised for the new technical colleges.
Welcome to the 80's - they'll be bringing back secondary moderns next.
Am I right? Well, it could all change next Friday when the next batch of policies from the back of a fag packet are announced. Whatever is the case, RM are at the top of a sharp downward spiral.