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.