Schools hit by Microsoft/Government intransigence

Microsoft are insisting that schools that use their Office product on Macs cough up for licensing and the Education department is saying nah as well.

Of course the stupid minister and echoing him is the even dimmer MSM who should know better are saying that they can use NeoOffice. NeoOffice is simply a port of OpenOffice, but why would you use a port when you can have the real thing.

You would think that the journalist press release copier would ahve walked down the hallway and spoken to the technology journalist and asked what alternatives their were to using Microsoft products on a Mac. If he had, he would know that there are very credible alternatives that cost nothing.

The best office applications are to be had at This is supported financially by Sun and provides everything you could actually want in an Office suite. I use this myself on a Mac. Sure it uses x11 to run but so what and doesn't have native Mac features but again so what, it works.

Of course there are now online alternatives such as Google Docs which provide a Word processor and a Spreadsheet. Again I use this fine product from Google, in fact far more than I do any other Office type product.

Then there is ThinkFree, which offers Desktop installation or online use with a free 1Gb of storage. The Desktop version costs but is a miniscule amount compared to Microsoft's bloated price and product.

Mariner Software also provide an Office suite of applications in their MarinerMac Suite. Yes it costs, but it is $199.95 USD. Compare that with Mac:Office Professional at $880 NZD!!!! 

OpenOSX: Office provides another opensource option with the added bonus of GIMP and Database support. At only $40 USD it again kicks the ass of any Microsoft product in terms of price/feature ratio.

As you can see there are many option available to the end user with out having to rely on Microsoft products. Anyone who says you can't get popular applications for a Mac is seriously deluded or deliberatly muddying the water.

  • Edward

    I bought a mac late last year and have been using iWork since and I must say, it is an absolute dream to use.

  • Anonymous Sooky La-la

    Good post Whaleoil. It's arguable that OpenOffice is over the top as well. Mac office suites like Apple's own iWork suite will give most students the word processing ability they need. 

    Nisus Writer is said to be good as well (I've never used it).

    One thing's for sure, if Microsoft thought that any publicity is good publicity with this stunt, they're sadly mistaken. The price they pay will not be in NZ, where the government is shy of taking on a big behemoth like Microsoft, but in the EU, where an army of EU regulators will no doubt be watching what Microsoft does around the world. 
  • Vanzylnz

    I think you are unfair Whaleoil :)

    The government could not afford 2.7 million for the education of our children (Or grandchildren in my case)
    they need  7 million to advertise Kiwisaver.
  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Suely the real stry hear is the morality of gummint officials and gummint ministers who think it is OK to use Microsoft's product without paying for it. When I was brought up we were taught taht is plain old theft. But what would you expect from socialists? I hopwe Microsoft takes them on and wins.