Austrailian Government Office Switches To Macs

By many accounts, Appleis Switch campaign has been a success. Apple claims that as much as 50% of Mac sales in its retail stores can be attributed to people new to the Mac platform and ex-Windows users. Apple still has a section of its Web site dedicated to convincing those considering making the move to Macs that such a move would be beneficial.

What has aided Apple in convincing many former PC users to jump ship is the near stranglehold Microsoft has on the PC market. After suffering through volleys of viruses, almost weekly updates, and unfriendly licensing practices by Microsoft, some people are simply looking for a fresh approach to computing, one that emphasizes getting a task done, and not about keeping the computer happy.

Many government offices around the world have also been looking for alternatives to Windows. While some look to Linux, others find that Apple offers the computer they need. A good example for this can be found on the Australian PC World Web site, which reports that the NSW Traffic Authority is outfitting its offices with 1200 Macs. From the article:

In what may well be Apple Computeris largest coup in the Australian enterprise space, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will deploy 1200 Apple G4 iMacs across 140 registry offices.

A statement Computerworld obtained from the RTA reveals the G4s will be used as point-of-sale terminals for its counter staff to handle RTA customers transactions across "prepared business applications" as well as for "collecting data and payments and issuing licences, registration certificates and receipts for various transactions".

The move away from Wintel desktops also appears to reiterate the recent strong stand by the NSW government to seek alternatives to wholly proprietary operating system kernels - and the licensing models that go with them - where cost-effective and viable alternatives exist. To this end, the RTA is making no bones about its preference for open standards and open source, with what appears to be more open source action slated for the near future.

"The Apple rollout is a continuation of RTA usage of open standards-based software and systems. The further adoption of open source is being undertaken to provide more choice of vendors and to guarantee RTA systems are providing value for money," the RTA statement said.

The article also lists the iMac specs the NSWTA will receive:

iMac specs
1200 Apple iMacs deployed across 140 RTA branches
OSX 10.3
1GHz PowerPC CPU
512MB RAM
Swivel-mounted, 15in LCD monitors allow easy customer viewing of photo licences
80GB HDD
DVD-R and CD R/W combo drives

There more information in the full article, which we recommend as an interesting read.