Can't they opt to install Openoffice instead?...
Software giant Microsoft is to abruptly ditch the use of Office through its popular global community refurbishment scheme. An El Reg reader alerted us to the firm's decision to unexpectedly withdraw the software from the Microsoft Authorised Refurbishment (MAR) program. Under a special licence agreement (pdf) with Microsoft …
They just withdrew it in the US as well.
Whatever. I guess I just need to shut off access to the Windows/Office images and only allow Windows/OpenOffice and Ubuntu/OpenOffice.
Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, since most refurbishers offer the MAR program as an OPTION (since it still costs the customer money, unless the refurbisher is loaded or extremely low volume) so the 'default' state is some form of Linux. Also, we've NEVER been able to give Office to educational groups because they have another low-cost program running specifically for education. Works was a piece of crap and most of us didn't bother with it, and indeed celebrated when it was removed from the program.
Chances are good that they discovered huge quantities of Office XP MAR COAs on the open market or available for piracy (and not because of any fault of a refurbisher, either, since once the machines leave our hands what the customer does with it is very wide open - especially technology access programs, where they then turn around and hand the things out to the general public) and this is their way of knee-jerk punishing the refurbishers because they couldn't turn anything up in the audit process (because the refurbisher did everything by the books, which really isn't hard).
Either that, or some numbnuts changed the COAs to look like a MAR COA, but didn't change the keyset, and as such they had no way of differentiating a customer entitled to support to a customer not entitled to support (MAR customers are not entitled to support).
At any rate, the US program administrators (Microsoft doesn't administer the program, they just provide the licenses and the rulebook) are not thrilled with this and are actively working to find an alternative for us.
at http://www.softwarefor.org one can download the ISO file of a disk called "Software for Starving Students," which contains all of the legally-free applications a Windows or OSX user might need, including office software, archivers, graphics packages, file utilties, and much more.
Of course, installing Kubuntu would be better, but I recognize that most "students" will do anything rather than actually learn something useful.
Perhaps it's time for all those refurbisher's to consider either of the following options:-
1. Install OpenOffice instead of a proprietary offering - it's free!
2. Install a Linux distribution that includes OpenOffice. Maybe this will be cheaper than the "all MS" alternative. SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell, RedHat Linux desktop offering, Ubuntu etc..
Every upgrade cycle we get reports on El reg and elsewhere about how underwhelmed the marketplace is about the new office... After all, if you got the average user today to use winword 5.0, I doubt they'd notice the difference... I guess this is just one attempt to drive sales.
Except it wont of course, the peeps in the office probably wont realise that sharing 1 copy of their old office between all their machines is illegal, or wont care.
...sounds like the obvious answer to this one. If what's needed is access to word processing and other tools, who ever said they need to be Microsoft tools?
I can understand businesses being reluctant to roll out OpenOffice across their organisations, but charities using old PCs sound like ideal candidates to me.
Just think how much time, screenspace, keyboard wear and tear, and network bandwidth would have been saved if the original article had bothered to mention OpenOffice.
What OpenOffice can't/doesn't fix as far as I know, which no one seems to have mentioned in posts currently visible, is Outlook/Exchange (or at least their non-email aspects, e.g. calendaring, contact management, and PDA syncing). Maybe they're not relevant in this market segment, I dunno (anyone?), but a truly informed article might have mentioned it.
Yup, everyone's thinking of that.
Though it doesn't have all the stuff MS Office has to offer, I doubt charities require the über-stuff only Office offers. I think the only über-function I've ever used is the "dynamic table" feature in Excel ... and even then, I pre-process much of the data with a DBMS-backend.
Go Open Office!!
I enjoy bashing Microsoft as much as the next guy, and they usually deserve it, but didn't ANYONE notice the sentence that read "...charities pay an admin charge... and save over 95%...)?
My consulting practice handles the networks for several charities here in the U.S. For years now, we're regularly purchased MS software at 95% off, at places like techsoup.com and most major suppliers. Although primarily for so-called 501c3 non-profits, there are other special programs that focus on libraries, medical practices, etc.
I'm willing to concede that free (as in beer) is better than 95% off. But realistically, any charity that can't cough up about $8.00 for a $400 product usually isn't a viable business entity to begin with, and probably won't be able to support for the donated computer for very long.
** 'm willing to concede that free (as in beer) is better than 95% off. But realistically, any charity that can't cough up about $8.00 for a $400 product usually isn't a viable business entity to begin with, and probably won't be able to support for the donated computer for very long. **
First of all, I suggest you either go back to school, or use a calculator. Saving 95% of $400 means they will have to pay $20, not $8 as you suggested.
Then, of course, you would have to multiply the $20 by the number of computers they are using, so a sizeable charity would be paying out a considerable amount of money.
The stupid thing is, out of the $20, M$ will have their costs to be deducted, such as wages, paperwork, et al. That will leave virtually nothing out of the $20, so why not allow them to carry on having Office free of charge?
> I'm willing to concede that free (as in beer) is better than 95% off. But realistically, any charity that can't cough up about $8.00 for a $400 product...
... he probably used a Windows-based machine to do the calculation... you know, the same flawless, secure, resilient architecture that all those US states are using as the basis for cash dispensers and for vote-counting machines.... :-)
At all charities and government assistance programs that I attend and aid, I provide, and we install, Mepis Linux.
We don't know who paid the $2.5 million purportedly won from the Salvation Army by the Business Software Alliance (owned, operated, phones answered by: Convicted Felon Microsoft!), back a few years ago.
BUT, we do NOT intend to put anyone at risk, and officially counsel all US government employees, customers, and volunteers, to ONLY use Open Source software, GNU/Linux, *BSD.
Sorry, Steve Jobs! Our Macs, when we get them, all run Yellow Dog, Ubuntu, etc. built for the hardware. You can't be trusted, either!
http://livecdlist.com is the resource for 315 Live CDs.
You're on a streak, there ! First you decide no SP1 release for Vista, and now no Office/Works for refurbs.
Hey guys, it's now official : Ballmer is rooting for Open Software ! Steve is a Linux Trojan right at the head of Microsoft ! He is actually supporting Linux in every marketing decision he makes at this time.
Go Steve ! Go the final lap and rename Microsoft to MicroNix, or Licronux, or something-ix.
That way everyone will know.
Because in reality many charities have to deal with government entities, and government entities _LOVE_ to use MSFT-only "extensions". As one who uses Evolution and OpenOffice on Linux, in a corporation with a similar "MSFT or be damned" attitude toward support, I can assure you that death by 1000 cuts only begins to describe it.
>> Because in reality many charities have to deal with government entities, and government entities _LOVE_ to use MSFT-only "extensions". As one who uses Evolution and OpenOffice on Linux, in a corporation with a similar "MSFT or be damned" attitude toward support, I can assure you that death by 1000 cuts only begins to describe it.
A valid point in my opinion, I would also argue that there are lot of old machines out that that would struggle under the weight of OOo that could just about manage MSO. I believe it will still be possible to buy a charity licensed version of MSO for £50.