Lenovo awarded NSW DET netbook contract

Lenovo awarded NSW DET netbook contract

Microsoft also selected as the preferred software platform provider of state's mini-laptop rollout

Lenovo and Microsoft will provide 220,000 netbooks to NSW school students under the Department of Education and Training’s $110 million mini-laptop tender.

Under the arrangement, Lenovo will supply 220,000 IdeaPad S10e laptops to school students in years 9-12. The machines feature advanced network security and remote management tool. They also include theft protection features such as hardware level reporting, retrieval and remote disabling functions and RFID tagging.

Lenovo was shortlisted against five other contenders for netbook deal: Acer, ASI, Asus, Dell and HP.

“Lenovo firmly believes that technology is the key to the learning success of all students in Australia which is why we are delighted to announce our partnership with the New South Wales Department of Education and Training” Lenovo managing director, Phil Cameron, said in a statement.

Microsoft has been chosen as the preferred platform, which includes the Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. The software giant will also supply the software, licensing and support to enable NSW DET to manage the netbook deployment and upgrade.

In a statement, Microsoft managing director, Tracey Fellows, said through the partnership, students could access tools designed to help them get the most out of school while providing teachers with ability to provide a highly productive learning environment.

Microsoft education director, Neil Jackson, said it worked with a number of industry and OEM partners to position Microsoft’s tools and technologies.

“I think this is the first step in the transformation of education and Microsoft’s role in that we’ve been able to demonstrate the value of the Microsoft platform, moving forward it’s a vehicle for teaching and learning in the classroom as students leave for the workforce,” he said.

The Windows operating systems include XP and Vista along with the Office operating suite involving Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The units will also run Microsoft Groove, OneNote, Visual Studio and security products such as Forefront.

Channel partners will also have an opportunity to engage with Microsoft on the NSW DET deal in terms of providing solutions that will work in a teaching and learning context and deploying the technology, Jackson said.

“The opportunities are quite broad,” he said.

Adobe has also been confirmed as a supplier and will provide Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements, Dreamweaver and Flash.

The netbook tender was announced last year as part of the Federal Government’s digital education revolution and will see year 9-12 secondary students allocated computing devices.

The devices must weigh no more than 1.75kg, be smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, have a minimum screen size of 8.9-inches, be capable of enabling voice and video communication, and cost less than $500.

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