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BECTA advises against Office 2007, Vista Upgrades

Informationweek (opens in new tab) 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 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.