In case you haven't heard, M$ is auditing a dozen or so large school
districts for compliance on licensing. Of course, this will be ugly and
will run one district an estimated $1,000,000 per year to comply with
M$. That's $1,000,000 more then they pay now. M$ is offering a simplified
arrangement whereby a school system pays a flat fee for every Intel box
(regardless of what it might actually be running) that would run that same
district about $30,000. You can see where this is headed!
Aside from noting that people's dishonesty about paying the real costs
associated with M$ software has gotten them into this trouble (if only
because the real costs are not apparent to "management"), I'm wondering
what is available as a real alternative to M$ for the great unwashed masses.
Of course, the answer I would expect to hear is "Linux!", but...
I'm talking about a solution that is useable by those who are not rabid
members of a LUG, or Sys admins in their day job. I'm talking about
productivity software that will seamlessly read and write M$ file formats
(Excel, Word, etc.). I don't know, for example, if Star Office is a real
alternative because I don't know how well it interoperates with those who
use Word, for example, on a daily basis. Perhaps there is a solution that
will reliably run M$ applications without having to buy the OS, but that is
only a step in the right direction.
I was hoping to hear suggestions about what is out there and if Linux is
ready to work seamlessly in heterogeneous High-Tech world. This might be a
good topic for one of the WLUG meetings...