Aapl, Goog & Msft in class war

Companies in the running for share of £60m contract

by Dec 17, 2012 No Comments

Four companies are being touted by educators as possible contenders to provide tablet PCs for educational purposes in Scotland.

Apple and Google already have their devices and software in Scottish classrooms as part of standard IT provision or 1-to-1 pilot programmes. Apple believes that its tight integration of hardware and software will achieve in education what it has in the consumer market. Google, whose Android software is running on Toshiba tablets being trialled in schools in Edinburgh, promotes its software as being more open.

In addition, Microsoft, which is providing its 365 suite of educational apps for free to be used in conjunction with the interim stage of development of the educational intranet Glow, is marketing its new Surface tablet for educational use.

The Scottish Government recently issued a framework contract, worth up to £60m, to supply the public sector with laptops and tablet computers.

Jaye Richards-Hill, a member of the ICT Excellence Group convened by the Scottish Government to examine the future of Glow, said she was apprehensive that the “lowest bidder” might be selected.

“People are going to have to be very savvy about whether they use the eventual procurement process to do the mass purchase of tablet devices,” she says.

“I’m always concerned when these things go out to competitive tender that we’re going to get the one that is least expensive. It’s got to be handled very carefully so that schools get the best deal on the best possible product.”

See also: First step on 1-to-1 road?

Paris Gourtsoyannis Paris Gourtsoyannis

Paris joined Holyrood in September 2011, and became education correspondent in May 2012. Born in Canada into a Greek family, and raised in Belgium, he came to Scotland in 2005 to study at the University of Edinburgh, where he was involved with award-winning student publication The Journal. Before working at Holyrood, Paris contributed to the Edinburgh Evening News, the Guardian and Guardian Local, and interned at think-tank Demos. His beat takes in all areas of Scotland's education and skills sector, including early years, adult learning, and employability...

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