basically tech

35 UK schools at risk of Microsoft lock-in

Friday 12th January, 2007

An article on Computer Business Review Online reports:

UK schools and colleges that have signed up to Microsoft Corp's academic licensing programs face the 'significant potential' of being locked in to the company's software, according to an interim review by the UK government agency responsible for technology in education.

The article goes on to state:

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) report also states that most establishments surveyed do not believe that Microsoft's licensing agreements provide value for money, while a separate review has recommended against the deployment of Vista and Office 2007.

No, really? Isn't vendor lock-in one of Microsoft's main strategies? Have a look at these excerpts from an internal Microsoft memo, drafted for Bill Gates (see the Wikipedia article on "vendor lock-in" for more details):

"The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional that most ISVs would be crazy not to use it. And it is so deeply embedded in the source code of many Windows apps that there is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system instead...

"It is this switching cost that has given the customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy vision at times, and many other difficulties [...] Customers constantly evaluate other desktop platforms, [but] it would be so much work to move over that they hope we just improve Windows rather than force them to move.

"In short, without this exclusive franchise called the Windows API, we would have been dead a long time ago."

Well, duh, all those crazy Open Source fanboys were right after all. Too late, you're stuck now. Probably.