Henrico to decide whether to ditch Apple iBooks for Dell laptops in middle schools

“This spring, Texas-based Dell Inc. beat out Apple Computer Inc. to supply laptops to Henrico County high school students and teachers. And if Dell has its way, Henrico won’t dish out Apples to middle school students and teachers next year,” Olympia Meola reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Until this fall, Henrico high school students toted Apple iBooks. Middle school students still use Apples. In June, that contract is up for grabs.”

Meola reports, “When making a pitch for the $17.9 million, four-year high school contract, Dell offered to provide at least 14,000 middle school machines for $20 less per unit than the high school laptops. The school system has until Nov. 1 to sign on. The Henrico school system purchased 15,800 Dell laptops at $1,131 apiece for the high school program, compared with Apple’s offer of $1,386 per unit. Joseph P. Rapisarda Jr., county attorney, said the School Board can accept Dell’s middle school offer without seeking other proposals. But if the county issued a request for proposals for the middle school contract, Apple could bid again. A lease for the majority of the iBooks expires in June.”

“School technology officials are still waiting to see how the Dells perform now that a vast majority of high school students are using them. So far, only a few issues have been reported,” Meola reports. “Meanwhile, little has been said about the iBooks, which have been in use in the middle schools for the past three years.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For some reason, we’re not hopeful that Apple Macs will be chosen for Henrico’s middle school students and teachers next year. Expect more Henrico County women to wet themselves standing in line for $50 Apple iBooks in the future.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Henrico students ‘excited’ to have Dells after four years with ‘hated’ Apple iBooks – September 24, 2005
Dell VP on Henrico’s switch from Mac OS X iBooks with to Windows XP Dells: ‘a computer’s a computer’ – September 22, 2005
After dropping Macs, Henrico officials work to protect students’ new Dells from viruses – August 30, 2005
Woman wets herself to keep place in line for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico closes $50 Apple iBook sale to general public; only Henrico residents can buy – August 03, 2005
Henrico moves $50 Apple iBook sale to Richmond International Raceway due overwhelming demand – July 28, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005
Henrico residents object to public sale of Apple iBooks – July 26, 2005
Henrico County Public Schools to sell Apple 12-inch iBooks for $50 each on August 9th – July 25, 2005
Henrico blasted for choosing Dell laptops with Windows XP over Apple iBooks with Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005
Henrico school officials on Apple to Dell switch: The logo will change, but the tool is the same – April 30, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Henrico County Apple iBook plan in jeopardy? – April 02, 2005
Survey shows support for Henrico iBook program with ‘lukewarm support’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – March 07, 2005
Henrico poll finds students are using iBooks successfully – February 11, 2005
Henrico iBooks raise concerns among some parents – May 28, 2004
Henrico high school laptop program to continue, but will it still feature Apple Macs? – February 24, 2005
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003

Thurrott: Microsoft’s Windows Vista Beta 1 vs. Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – August 29, 2005
Dvorak: Mac OS X is already better than Windows, Vista may be end of line for Microsoft’s dominance – July 26, 2005
Thurrott: Apple Macs offer a safer computing experience than Microsoft Windows PCs – July 20, 2005
Thurrott on spyware: ‘we should have paid more attention to those Apple Switcher ads after all’ – July 08, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
PC World names Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘Best Operating System’ – June 01, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘is the most advanced operating system on the planet’ – May 31, 2005
TrustedReviews: After using Mac OS X Tiger ‘going back to Windows XP is something of a joke at best’ – May 18, 2005
The Butler Group: ‘Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger the best desktop operating system in the world to date’ – May 13, 2005
BBC News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘the most stable and reliable OS, well ahead of Windows XP’ – May 10, 2005
Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’ – May 07, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system’ – May 06, 2005
The Guardian: Mac OS X Tiger a powerful solution while Microsoft’s Longhorn remains on drawing board – May 06, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times: Mac OS X Tiger shows ‘there’s never been a more compelling time to switch to Mac’ – May 05, 2005
Dan Gillmor: ‘With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today’ – May 05, 2005
Jupiter Research VP: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘runs rings around Microsoft Windows’ – May 04, 2005
The Independent: Apple’s ‘faster, smarter, simpler’ Mac OS X Tiger ‘a must-have’ – May 04, 2005
Mac OS X Tiger review for a Windows PC audience finds Tiger’s ‘far, far better than Windows XP’ – May 03, 2005
Boston Herald: Mac OS X Tiger should compel Windows PC users to think about switching to Apple Mac – May 02, 2005
PC World review gives Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger 4.5 stars out of 5 – April 30, 2005
Associated Press: Mac OS X Tiger ‘provides another excellent incentive to switch from Windows’ – April 28, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s Tiger ‘the best, most advanced personal computer operating system on the market’ – April 28, 2005
NY Times: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is the most secure, stable and satisfying OS on earth – April 28, 2005
Thurrott: ‘Longhorn is in complete disarray and in danger of collapsing under its own weight’ – April 27, 2005
Windows is weak, Longhorn will be cosmetic upgrade; Apple can deliver killer blow to Microsoft – April 27, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn ‘has the makings of a train wreck’ – April 26, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005


  1. MCCFR,

    Yes it was funny – if somebody posted it. Not so funny as part of the MDN take. There’s a choice to make, either just comment will-nilly about whatever, or take the news stuff seriously and leave the childish comments aside or for the rest of us. It’s an either/or propsosition. You can’t act like a kid and expect adult respect. MDN wants both. When somebody calls MDN on a “take”, MDN will then make and addendum to cover that arguement, but won’t post a time stamp or give reference to the post which caused the edit. That’s lame.

    As long as it wants both, it leaves itself open for criticism both sides and can’t legitimatel defend itself without looking foolish. Personally, the take was funny in my mind. But for all of MDN’s protestations, it’s crass and amaturish.

    My “take” is that there are a couple of folks who write the takes – some 16 year old kid and an adult who take turn manning ship.

  2. Education should be all about preparing children for the real world. Given that 96% of world (at least) uses Windows-based PC’s then teaching children their first computing skills on a WIndows-based machine seems to make a lot of sense to me. The school is not aiming to produce geeks who can swap and change between systems with ease. So, if there’s a choice of teaching kids Windows or MacOS or Linux it seems a no-brainer to me (from an educational perspective), particularly when the Windows machine is also considerably cheaper. I’m afraid this nonsense about malware and viruses slowing these machines down is largely FUD. It is perfectly possible to prevent this on a PC, particularly in the controlled environment of a school. Perhaps if Apple ever reached a 25% market share then it might be appropriate to start teaching computing on them.

  3. ps. even if the virus/malware problem isn’t FUD, which I’m sure the unbiased and open-minded readers of this site will claim, then it still makes sense to me to educate our kids about how to deal with viruses and malware! If it is the problem this site claims, and 96% of PC’s suffer from it, then it seems good sense to teach “safe computing” practice to kids as soon as possible, along with safe sex.

  4. Reality Check:

    Yes you should teach them how to use windows as long as windows is still a viable platform (Which is questionable) But why not buy Mac’s, and get softwindows on them and let the kids decide which operating system they like the best? I don’t know Apple’s market share (Either installed user base or new sales) but I’m pretty sure there are millions and millions of mac users around the world that need to have some support on their macs too. So why not teach them how to work with/fix a mac along side a windows computer? Granted… Mac’s need less support then windows. But they do still need some maintence and TLC. I run a network of 5 mac’s and 1 pc, we have a dedicated server (emac 700Mhz) that runs our email, web, ftp, windows file server, & Mac file server. I have more trouble with my one PC then all 5 of my macs (Including my server) put together. Anyway… Just my ramblings.

    MDN MW: play, as in lets call the plays both ways ref!

  5. Nice idea ‘reality check’ … I agree 100 percent. We do need to teach out kids how to practice safe computing because the software company cannot follow tried and true rules of software development!! Hey, maybe when the car manufacturer has poor brakes, we can all learn to stick our foot out the door to help slow the car! Maybe we should cancel some of the stupid math and science classes to teach safe computing? How about a political correctness class for good measure?

    How stupid! And I haven’t even bought a Mac … YET!!

  6. I say let the little spoiled drug using, sex worshipping, tatooed, pierced retards have M$ and DELL. Notice how the E in DELL in tilted in their logo? I’m investigating the reason, so if none of you hear from me again you know something terrible has happened to me.

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