Massive roll-out: NSW Education picks Win7

When more than 200,000 student laptops for the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution go out to NSW schools, they will be running Windows 7 instead of Windows XP as first announced, following a successful trial in three schools.

When more than 200,000 student laptops for the Federal Government's Digital Education Revolution go out to NSW schools, they will be running Windows 7 instead of Windows XP as first announced, following a successful trial in three schools.

Windows 7

(Credit: Renai LeMay/ZDNet.com.au)

"We have completed a test drive of the laptops running Windows 7 under licence in three NSW government high schools recently. As a result of the outcomes of the test drive, the department has decided to adopt Windows 7 as our platform on the Digital Education Revolution student devices," a spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education and Training told ZDNet.com.au.

The Department of Education and Training is part of the Microsoft first wave program for Windows 7. The laptop decision will bring the machines into line with the department's plans to migrate its fleet over to Microsoft's newest operating system.

Windows 7 was released to manufacturing partners last week. The laptops were set to be rolled out to NSW schools this month. The behemoth distribution hasn't started yet but it will "very, very shortly" according to the spokesperson.

The department's decision to use Windows 7 on its fleet and the new student laptops, will see hundreds of thousands of users on the new system. It seems to show that Microsoft's efforts have paid off to remain at the forefront of the operating system market after its problematic release of Vista.

NSW Department of Education and Training had been one of the organisations disappointed by the last operating system. It had been flirting with rolling out Vista, carrying out beta testing, but had decided not to implement the operating system because of the difficulty of implementation and costs when measured against the benefits delivered.

In Australia, as in many other places around the world, there weren't many Vista migrations within enterprise, with internet service provider iiNet and federal government agency the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service being two of the few which did take the leap.

The department even toyed with the idea of using Linux. Yet Windows 7 has won it over and it is not only the state's education organisation that is interested in Microsoft's newest Opus. National Australia Bank and federal government agency Centrelink have both said they were testing Windows 7.

The new operating system will be running on Lenovo hardware for students in NSW after the state signed a deal with the hardware manufacturer in April to deliver 267,000 machines.

Of the other states, NT held a contract with Dell, Western Australia with CDM Australia, Apple and Lenovo, while Tasmania formed a panel of Lenovo and Acer, and Victoria ran a trial with the same vendors. Queensland also used an old panel with five vendors: HP, ComputerCORP, Acer, Dell and Apple.

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