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Software agreement a bargain for students

Miami has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. that will make the purchase of software by students and the university more economical and efficient.

Miami and 14 other universities and medical colleges collaborated via the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) to negotiate the pact, which is nonexclusive and does not prevent the use or purchase of other software products.

"We’re pleased to use the collective purchasing power of the universities to provide these products at extremely low costs to our students," said President James Garland, who serves as IUC president.

Miami students will be able to buy most of the software products covered in the agreement for $12.50 each at the Miami University Bookstores, a considerable savings over retail. The entire software suite would cost more than $2,000 if purchased at retail prices. The university will purchase licenses for faculty and staff. The software will be available by late November.

"Miami University is committed to using technology to enhance learning and teaching. We’ve spent more than $23 million to provide high-speed computer access to classrooms, labs, offices and each residence hall room. Providing powerful, affordable software is an important next step," said Kris Froehlke, associate provost for computing and information services.

The agreement will provide Microsoft Office (versions for Macs and Windows), Microsoft Visual Studio Professional (a collection of programming development tools), Microsoft FrontPage (a Web development tool), Windows 32-bit operating system upgrades plus some other specialized items.

"The bottom line is that any student, faculty or staff member can use the covered Microsoft software and have a legal license," Froehlke said.

Froehlke, who was instrumental in proposing the initiative to IUC, thanked colleagues at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State as well as at IUC for their efforts in obtaining the agreement.

Allison was part the three-person statewide team that conducted initial negotiations with Microsoft and continued to be involved in the year-and-a-half effort to reach a successful conclusion.

Details on distribution remain to be determined, but a Web site will provide updates and answers to frequently asked questions, according to Debra Allison, assistant director of support services at Miami’s Computing and Information Services (MCIS).
The Web address is www/muohio.edu/microsoft/.

Date Published: 09/30/1999
Volume: 19   Number: 10

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