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Re: [seul-edu] OSS for schools

Are there any other schools/universities using it? I would like to contact them and share experiences
I'm the director of IT for the College of the Marshall Islands, a small college in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and we recently switched over to StarOffice (and OpenOffice). We've had no problems at all with the software.

The "problems" we have had are related to "change" and the mental mindset of "MS Office is good and god-like, anything else is inferior." As with any large conversion, do your homework and line up the "political support" of key players first to make sure they're on board. This can't be stressed enough.

Training and real-world issues -- e.g. document conversion -- are non-existent for us. We've run a few "intro" training sessions on StarOffice to show people some differences (e.g. where to set margins and how to insert page numbers) and to show off some of StarOffice's features (e.g. the Gallery), but people have switched over painlessly. No one here is using any sort of advanced template or macro features, so document conversion is simply a non-issue for us.

My plan is to start with OpenOffice running on Windows and in a year or so, maybe 2, we will switch to Linux, providing everything works well.
This is a key issue that you can explain to your administration. By going with OpenOffice or StarOffice, not only will you avoid MS Office's macro-virus problems, license restrictions, and annual subscription fees for its office suite, but you give yourself options to move to entirely new desktop platforms (e.g. Linux, Macs, other Unixes) down the road. Once you put some dollar figures on those options, that will get your administration's attention!


"If the current stylistic distinctions between open-source and commercial
software persist, an open-software revolution could lead to yet another
divide between haves and have-nots: those with the skills and connections
to make use of free software, and those who must pay high prices for
increasingly dated commercial offerings." -- Scientific American