The Westcliff High School for Girls Academy has switched from Windows on their workstations to the KDE Plasma desktop. This means that they are avoiding the licensing hassles of using Windows and they are adopting a free and open operating system that will provide the students with a desktop environment reminiscent of Windows but with less of the problems experienced by users of the proprietary operating system from Microsoft. The school is dedicated to science and technology and this requires that the students have some experience with the Linux operating system. CERN and Google use Linux extensively, the Scientific Linux distribution is created for scientific work and knowledge of this is very useful in the workplace. This is a very good move by the school, adopting OpenSUSE 12.2 and Plasma Desktop 4.10. This with a customised login screen with the school`s branding. One advantage of this move is that the school does not have to replace hardware as often. This will save the school money, a decision that in the face of increasing austerity measures by the government, is a good way to save costs by the educational institution.
The school is also experimenting with the Rasberry Pi minicomputer, allowing the students to perform experiments with Linux that will not erase data on the main computer workstations. Other software that some students still require is run with WINE. This allows some work to be done until the transition to full open source software is complete. None of the students liked the Windows 8 operating system and this made it a simple decision to switch to something else instead. Good news for the Linux desktop.