Wednesday, 26 August 2009 08:52

Australian high schools lead the world in Windows 7 rollout

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Today the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education (DET) has commenced its rollout of 220,000 netbooks to senior secondary school students and teachers. The netbooks have been preloaded with the release Windows 7 code which is not yet available to the general public.

iTWire has in the past covered the promise made by Kevin Rudd in his Prime Ministerial election that he would provide laptops for all Australian school children.

This promise soon looked to fail as the states began expressing frustration at having to commit their own funds for a Federal government commitment.

In the state of NSW, at least, things progressed with talks between the state and Commonwealth securing sufficient funding to enable laptops – with a top price of $500 – to be procured for high school students from years nine through 12.

The machine was put to tender with Lenovo and Microsoft being the successful contract winners. My own exploration into whether Linux was considered revealed that possibly no Linux submissions were made.

At the time the successful contract winners were announced it was expected the computers would ship with Windows XP and later receive an upgrade to Windows 7.

However, with Windows 7 now having been finalised and released to MSDN and TechNet subscribers Microsoft and the Department of Education and Training have opted to launch with Windows 7 immediately.

This means the 90,000 students who will receive their netbook this year (with the full 220,000 to be deployed by 2012) will be among the world’s first people to see and use Windows 7.

Technology milestones aside, the program is also, to the best of knowledge, unparalleled in education across the globe.

A Department of Education spokesperson said they expected this program to give students digital skills required to succeed at school and in the workforce as well as opening up richer classroom experiences.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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