Windows 7 enabled netbooks for schools to include open source software

NSW Government begins rolling out 267,000 netbooks to Year 9 students

The 267,000 Windows 7 based netbooks that the NSW Government has started rolling out to high schools will come pre-installed with open source software.

The initial roll out that began today will see the 70,000 Year 9 students in NSW schools each receive a Windows 7 enabled Lenovo IdeaPad S10e by the end of this year.

Over the next four years, each Year 9 student will receive one of the devices as a gift, which they can keep once they have left school. A total 267,000 netbooks will be handed out over the course of the program, which is part of the Rudd Government’s $2.2 billion Digital Education Revolution.

Many spokespeople from the free and open source software community feel that a Linux-based operating system would have been a better choice for students in Australia, but the netbooks will be pre-installed with a variety of open source software.

A spokesperson from the NSW department of Education and Training (DET) today confirmed that GeoGebra, Dia, Audacity, Freemind and MuseScore would all be included on the devices.

Even so, open source consultant, Jeff Waugh, said that while putting computers in the hands of high schoolers is a fantastic step forward, many in the Open Source industry and community are disappointed that the NSW DET chose to use Windows 7 as its platform.

“The NSW DET didn't take this opportunity to leap into the future with a platform that encourages sharing, collaboration, ingenuity and learning,” he said.

Although other States and Territories are yet to announce comparable plans, a Microsoft Australia spokesperson said the company is confident that others will follow suit and roll out Windows 7 enabled devices to students as part of the Digital Education Revolution.

Waugh agrees that this is likely.

“Now NSW has done it, I'm sure other states will continue to see Windows as the 'safe option' — but perhaps we'll see a bit of classic state-vs-state competitive innovation strike Victoria, Queensland or South Australia,” he said.

A spokesperson from the ACT Department of Education and Training said that the ACT does not have any comparable plans in place at the moment.

Waugh said the roll out sent a strong message to the open source software community.

“As ever, those of us keen to see open source platforms succeed in desktop deployments must work harder to remind ICT decision makers that another path exists and that in many cases its benefits outweigh the perceived risks,” he said.

“There was a slam dunk to be had with NSW DET — they were certainly looking seriously at Linux platforms — but vendors didn't provide the answers or comfort they were looking for.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceMicrosoftWindows 7netbooksNSW Department of Education and Training's netbooks tender

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dahna McConnachie

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?