Down under in Australia it is locked into MS even worse. Because the Education Departments are state wide they negotiate a package that includes free Windows XP Pro and free Office XP Pro at home for every teacher. Just purchase the media now ($AU35) - and that only happened this year, before that you just signed out the school or TAFE campus copy from the library. Symantec do the same for AntiVirus software. When Windows Server 2003 Basic is part of the enterprise agreement so schools install it for nothing you can't compete with OSS. You also have the IT managers saying things like "we'll only support your school servers if we install and configure it - you're on your own if you want anything different" what are the schools and campuses going to say.
Yet with all of this the "Internet Sherrif" proxy filtering still blocks sites inconsistently, crashes, blocks access to multimedia files and causes numerous other problems. Last week the entire NSW Dept of Education & Training was offline for 13 hours because their server room (that controls the entire Internet access, e-mail, student administration links, etc) got infected with a virus.
At the TAFE (adult education) where I am Computer Support Officer (and I teach a bit too) we took two of the four IT & Arts classrooms off the DET network and installed our own web server, proxy server and Internet connection. One room is Mac OS X Dual G4s + Mac xServe G4 that is about to be upgraded to Mac OS X Dual G5s + a new xServe G5 that is used for Digital Media (film, animation & graphic design). The other is the computer lab where we teach IT - install Windows XP/Server and configure small LANs, etc. You need the ability to download drivers, updates, patches, new software, digital media files, etc and these were all blocked on the DET network.
This is the sort of government lockin that needs to be addressed, surely the anti-corruption and competition organisations need to look at this. If they give it away to governement then they are overcharging the average punter in the street that has to get a PC for home so the kids can do homework and not be "disadvantaged" because they write out and hand draw their homework.
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