updated 01:05 pm EST, Fri January 11, 2008
UK Schools Avoiding Vista
Educational institutions in the UK should avoid moving to Windows Vista in most cases, says a new report from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, or BECTA. The advisory group says tha it has "not had sight of any evidence" that would suggest the new Microsoft OS should be used in anything but a completely new environment. Problems will appear if schools try to either upgrade systems directly or create patchwork situations where Vista has to interoperate with XP and earlier versions, the Agency says. The claim alludes to Vista's steep system requirements, which often exclude all but relatively recent systems from running the OS smoothly.
BECTA also warns that many school budgets would only allow systems capable of running the simpler visuals of Vista Home Basic, though there is "no significant benefit" to having the translucent windows and 3D effects of the software's Aero Glass appearance in Vista Home Premium and higher versions, the report notes. Schools are also told to avoid Office 2007 for its emphasis on the in-house Office Open XML standard at the expense of the more universal Open Document Format.
The cost of a Vista upgrade alone is also considered crucial to the recommendation, which notes that a complete upgrade to Vista would likely cost the equivalent of $350 million US. A third of this would go directly towards the software itself while the rest would apply to bringing hardware up to speed and testing the resulting changes.