Observer Lee Morris has pointed us to an article in Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun which states that Apple Japan has won a contract to provide 1,150 iMacs to the prominent Tokyo University, making it the first order of more than 1,000 units that Apple Japan has received, according to the article. The iMacs will become the most common computer on campus, replacing many Windows-and Linux-based PCs. In addition to the 1,150 iMacs, the university purchased 200 Windows based computers for areas where Windows is required, and for high-end 3D work. Lee Morris offers a rough translation of a Tokyo University spokespersonis reason for the switch:
"Compared to Windows, itis easier to install and use a variety of software, and if there is any trouble, itis easier to fix it oneself."
Asahi Shimbun does not appear to offer an English version of the article on its English site, but BabelFish offers the following extremely rough translation. [Editoris Note: We have replaced Babelfishis spotty translation with a far better translation sent to us by Atsi Otani. Thanks, Atsi! - Editor]
Tokyo University will be Switching Shared-use Computers to Macs from March Next Year
Tokyo University will be installing Apple Computeris desktop computer, the "iMac," from March next year. The computers are to be shared by the approximately 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professors and staff members. They will be replacing simplified computers based upon the Linux OS, available free of charge, because they are nearing their five-year replacement schedule. Although it is theoretically possible to use the most popular Windows OS now, that will become impossible on shared computers on the campus after March next year, except for a few high-end computers.
Tokyo University will be placing approximately 1,400 computers on three of its campuses, Komaba 1, Hongo, and Kashiwa. The computers will be connected by an LAN system.
An NEC-related company won the bid for supplying the shared-use computer system on the 24th. Approximately 1,150 computers will become Mac systems, and most servers, which are key computers that control the system, will become Apple-manufactured computers.
The approximately 200 computers that are left will be high-end computers capable of handling 3D data, and computers that will be able to use the Windows OS.
Students will have ID numbers and passwords, and will be allowed to use the shared-use computers freely. Tokyo University uses shared-use computers in its information education building to teach information processing, a required subject that uses computers, to all freshman students (approximately 3,500). Other than classes, the computers will be used for writing papers and receiving e-mail.
Tokyo University explains its reasons for installing Macs as "When compared to Windows, itis easier to introduce a variety of software, and even if thereis trouble, itis easier to fix it yourself."
The Japanese branch of Apple Computers has been trying to expand its market in educational institutions, an area where they have been successful in the U.S. They say that "Itis the first time that weive received an order over one thousand computers."
If youire up on your Japanese, you can read a more coherent version of the article at Asahi Shimbunis Web site.