Linux on the desktop has come a long way
I needed to check some email. I was too lazy to boot up my laptop so I thought I’d setup an account with the Evolution” mail client that installed with Linux. Wow! It looks a lot like Outlook and seems to have the same base features. The only thing that really keeps MS Office on a lot of desktops is Outlook. For most people Open Office is great for word processing and spreadsheets but alternative Email/PIM software really sucks. I think Evolution could be the answer, but it only runs on Linux/Unix right now.
I think a case could be made to run a Linux network at the school. It does everything the students need it to plus I could maintain much more control over the systems. Plus most of them wouldn’t have a clue about how to change anything. I think I’m being converted.