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Michigan Officials Recommend HP Over Apple For School Laptops

Michigan Officials Recommend HP Over Apple For School Laptops

by , 2:00 PM EST, November 26th, 2003

Apple's bid to make up some of the ground lost in the education market has been going well; Apple won several high profile contracts to provide laptops to schools. Unfortunately, Apple can't win them all, a point made clear when Michigan officials recently recommended computer maker Hewlett-Packard to provide laptops to Michigan sixth graders. Here are some of the details from an Associated Press report titled Computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. recommended for school laptops:

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company was recommended for the state's "Freedom to Learn" contract because it agreed to charge no more than $275 per student per year, Bridget Medina, spokeswoman for the state Department of Management and Budget, said Monday.

[...]

The Hewlett-Packard contract could cost a maximum $35.75 million if all 130,000 sixth graders in Michigan get a laptop computer or handheld device. A spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard did not return a telephone message seeking comment Monday afternoon.

Members of the state's Joint Evaluations Committee determined Hewlett-Packard was the "best value and solution for the `Freedom to Learn' laptop program," according to a written statement from the state budget office. The company's proposal was accepted over four other computer companies, including giants Apple Computer Inc. and Dell Inc.

The contract still must be approved by the State Administrative Board, which oversees state contracts. The six-member board Ñ made up of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer and the state school superintendent Ñ is expected to consider the recommendation at its Dec. 16 meeting.

For more information read the full article at the Associated Press affiliate, MLive.com

The Mac Observer Spin:

While the final decision has yet to be made, this looks like one that got a way from Apple. Also, it looks as if the substance of the contract is likely to change since Michigan, like so many other school districts across the country, is dealing with large budgetary shortfalls.

Still, that state officials would recommend PCs after having viewed a pilot program that featured Apple's iBooks can't be something that Apple is happy about. The recommendation to go with HP was based solely on cost, which, once again, is something schools pay very close attention to; something that Apple should be paying close attention to also.

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