“As well as all the small problems with our Windows installations, hours lost in updating Java, Flash, Quicktime, Silverlight and so on, Microsoft turned off the KMS server in Vienna and this introduced new problems with the key management service. Let’s make it short — I wanted to get rid of Windows in the classroom and enforce free and open standards. I have this weird belief that proprietary pseudo-standards like OOXML Transitional and expensive software like Photoshop, MS Office and so on have no reason for existence in public schools.”
See Interview: Thomas Weissel Installing Plasma in Austrian SchoolsHere it is 2017 and Austrian schools are using GNU/Linux and folks are still having problems with That Other OS in schools. I was in a similar situation back in 2000 when I first installed GNU/Linux in my classroom. TOOS didn’t work for me then and it still doesn’t work for schools today. Any time you have a monopolist telling you what you can and can’t do in your classroom, you’re going to have problems, especially if that monopolist isn’t particularly supportive of your objectives. In my case, M$ was celebrating its monopoly and didn’t even care if the software crashed hourly. I later discovered there were all kinds of evil consequences of the EULA from Hell, like limiting the size of networks without a server running their software and fat licensing fees.
M$ may have changed a lot in the meantime but the EULA still stifles creativity, there is no package management system making updating easy, the file-format war continues, lock-in still happens… OTOH, with GNU/Linux schools, teachers, and students have great freedom to teach and learn the way they want. I had students install operating systems and applications in my classroom without a budget, licensing issues, and students could run the same software at home and at school. It cost nothing to turn a PC into a server as an educational project. It cost nothing to create an ad hoc network of PCs into a class’s model of the Internet. It cost nothing to let students practice taking PCs to bits and installing all kinds of software with no licensing issues due to restrictions or prices. GNU/Linux is perfect for schools. It’s perfect for Austria, why not your country?