As noted in this article: PC grants pay for licence fees, it appears that in the current setup, the Rudd government’s education revolution ends up less than ideal, with a heap of the money flowing to mainly Microsoft.
Clarifying the story… state education authorities and catholic education generally have an arrangement with Microsoft which gives them very cheap access to for instance Windows and Office licenses. But all is relative… under the agreement, any PC in the school’s realm gets counted, even if it doesn’t run any of the software. So if a school acquires new PCs, even if they were to all run Linux, OpenOffice.org and the whole shebang, Microsoft still gets a cut. If, as a consequence, the authorities have to acquire lower grade hardware to get to their quota of machines, that’s not-so-shiny, eh? And that’s exactly what appears to be happening.
I don’t actually blame Microsoft for making such a deal, of course it’d take what it can get, and offering a simpler auditing system for its licensing kinda makes sense for the other side as well. It just ends up borked. It’s up to the education authorities to renegotiate something. The federal government says it’s not their gig. True, strictly speaking, but really….