Thursday, May 15, 2008

BECTA complain to EU about OOXML

Apparently the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) are complaining to the EU Commission about Microsoft's OOXML. I've never been a big fan of Becta but they are claiming that Microsoft's lack of interoperability is costing the UK education system a fortune.

"The British commission has asserted that because of Microsoft products’ lack of interoperability, the British Educational System is paying more money on software products than it should. In 2005, the same commission published a study according to which British primary schools could save up to half their costs if they would choose open source software products, and give up the proprietary ones.

Another issue raised by the commission is the way Microsoft licenses its products to the schools. The company’s policy is that all computers in a campus must have Microsoft license. BECTA has considered this an anticompetitive practice.

According to the Associated Press, Microsoft’s spokeswoman Anne-Sophie de Brancion stated that “Microsoft is deeply committed to education and interoperability”, and that the company has started to develop tools that will enable Office to work better with files in ODF."

Thanks to Manon Ress via the A2K list for the pointer.

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