In the beginning was the command line..

No more MS Office for Apple/Macs at NZ Schools (for now..)

, posted: 2-Apr-2007 18:13

After reading an MoE memo today it would appear that I am required to remove MS Office from every Apple computer at the School where I work.

I'm not blaming Microsoft or anyone else straight away however, as I have no insight into the MoE's dealings with Microsoft.

But this has some serious ground-level impacts, until the MoE can negotiate a deal with MS the previous School's Agreement is apparently voided and the memo I received quite clearly stated I must remove MS School Licence-agreement installations of Office v.X from all Apple computers.

The text looks like this:
"All Apple computers have been removed from the new agreement [with Microsoft]. The Ministry of Education is arranging for separate licensing of MS Office for Apple TELA laptops and administrative Macs."
"Apple Macs in the classroom are therefore not covered for MS Office in this agreement and will need to have MS Office removed if it had been deployed under the previous agreement."

The memo continues with other information but these quoted paragraphs are what took me by surprise. There is some good news though, Novell are providing Open Enterprise Server, SUSE Server, ZENworks and etc to Schools for free or cheap!

Do you work at a School? What are you doing about the licencing changes?

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Comment by Davem, on 18-Apr-2007 10:40

I have written to the Minister of Education and the Opposition (National) MP regarding this. I await their replies. Perhaps this information should be on Fairgo TV1. It might show some insight into this stupid decision. I am not in charge of our network 500 PC's + 50 Mac's. It going to cause chaos for all of our students who have network access to both systems integrated through Active Directory. It is also going to disadvantage the senioryear 12 & 13 students who use Word, Excel and Powerpoint and are in the middle of their NCEA asseessments for this year. The school has no more money in its budget to purchase MS Office licences for the 50 Mac's. Why should it be forced into doing so when the PC's will have it for free?

Comment by freitasm, on 29-May-2007 08:24

Well done... It took the newspapers only two months to find this story and run with it now...

Author's note by barf, on 29-May-2007 11:11

Wow, Here was me thinking everyone knew and noone cared!

the story is on stuff at

i disagree with this paragraph strongly however... "The ministry could not justify the extra $2.7 million being given to Microsoft for software that would not be used."

Excuse me Mr Maharey.. You should really know that Office IS used ALOT.. Far out... "software that would not be used" I cannot believe out Minister of Education would say that.

Comment by Nick Brennan, on 30-May-2007 10:53

This a great chance to show that if you use Apple you don't need MS in over 90% of cases. I noted that NeoOffice was given as an alternative.

This is open source and in is used by millions around the world. A lot of reviewers have said

in some cases its better than Microsoft office. This would be an excellent opportunity to

teach students about open source software. Which the Mac platform is also developed under.

The latest version is very stable and is only

going to get better as Sun Microsytems the makers of Java are also on board. I recommend

this to my Mac clients. If you would any help or have an question please contact me as

I would like to help schools in area of technology in anyway I can.

Comment by David C, on 30-May-2007 13:24

Hey Stuart,

Looking at the date of your post I'm a little late to the party but rest asured there's a lot of people out there talking about this - including me!!

I think it's storm in a tea cup really - I agree with Nick's comment above - T.I.L.B.M.O - There Is Life Beyond Micosoft Office.

It's hard to imagine being able to use only one pen for all your writing or drive only one car.... yet this same situation happens with the imagined m$ office "lock in".

.rtf or .pdf anyone?

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Stuart MacIntosh
New Zealand

Hello world.