BECTA advises against Office 2007, Vista Upgrades

Informationweek reports that Becta, the organisation that advises the UK Governement on technology issues in education, has advocated that Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Vista should be kept out of British Schools.

Apart from software compatibility problems - most notably, backward compatibility with previous versions of Office and compatibility with non Microsoft file formats, BECTA says that moving to Microsoft's new versions of its flagship products could result in an increase in operating costs.

Although schools would probably end up paying up the same due to their license agreement, Vista and Office 2007 would put more pressure on resource-limited IT departments to upgrade or change their computers.

The Executive director of strategic technologies for Becta, Stephen Lucy, also mentioned that there are no clear benefits associated with upgrading to Vista and Office 2007.

Becta has also urged schools and colleges to look into adopting competitors’ products including open source products like Linux and OpenOffice.org products.

Security concerns, Cost cutting exercises and a drive to increasing efficiency have caused a number of public bodies to look into moving to free, open source products.