Bob Blizzard, the Waveney, Suffolk MP who is campaigning against 'unfair' Microsoft licence terms for schools, has published an email from the software giant, replying to his complaints.
David Burrows, education head at Microsoft UK, says the firm has the no plans at present to alter license terms, which see schools pay much more than colleges for their software.
"In response to your specific request, we have discussed this extensively with colleagues in Microsoft Corporation and conclude that we are not able, at this point, to commit to make a wholesale change to a licensing programme that applies consistently on a world wide basis without further detailed consultation. However, we have approached the DfES and proposed to incorporate the specifics of this request into the current, ongoing review of our licensing programmes in the UK education sector to see how we can ensure that all our education customers receive the best value."
Blizzard expresses "disappointment" with this response.
In his own constituency, he notes that "a college with 500 computers pays £6900 a year ($10,560), while a school with 152 computers pays £6300 p.a. ($9641) and another school with 273 computers pays £11000 p.a. ($16,836) Another school with 396 computers paid £31,700 ($48,522) last year to buy a licence outright".
And he's discovered Open Source, as this comical note for editors reveals.
Open Source Software is software whose source code is openly published. It is often developed by voluntary efforts and is usually available at no charge under a licence defined by a non profit corporation called the 'Open Source Initiative'. One of the best known such systems is called Linux, developed in Finland.
You can find Bob Blizzard's press release here
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