Why are some schools going to PC only?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Macs R Us, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Macs R Us macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Here on My Mac(s) in my house in the USA!
    Why are some schools going to the PC platform

    My local schools are going to PC's. Its crazy our School system had always USED almost all mac, but now PC no Mac at all. Well since I fell students should have a bit of both, I fell this is totaly unfair to the kids and well just dumb. I don't see there new Dell's lasting longer then a years or so. I help out at a Privte school and there school board whent the same way, I told them not to... Now almost a year later the Dell's are doing crazy things, such as a teacher was doing a presentation (not on the internet) and during the middle of it a POP-up AD poped up a few times. And if thats not bad enogh in the middle of a class an ad for porn poped up, well now there coming to me for sure. So I reminded them what I said before and looked up the cost of the Norton stuff it really need for the next school year for the 10 Dell's the software pack was about $1,000. Thet spend atleast $799 for each system and add this well they should have got the 20 eMac deal from Apple. Now we'll see how many more Dell's they buy... Back to the public schools the highest person in charge of everything is going all PC and slowly getting rid of there Mac's... Simply this school corp is DUMB they removed a lab of 500mhz imac's and will put them up for auction, they got the iMac 233's in the lab now and all the LC gone now theres a Dell lab and Mac and all the teachers have Dell's. This is at one Public middle school imagen all the schools... Well the upside to this is I live 2 blocks from where there going to auction them of for a few bucks a lot and hardly ever comes. I can't understand them many school systems are using Mac's Has any one else had there local school corp done this too???

  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This has been hashed over many times before. A major reason that school systems drop Macs in favor of Windows is that the change dramatically increases the number of support personnel, both administrative and staff. Backwards thinking, you say? It is backwards only if you are a taxpayer or you care about childrens' education. If your business is training and technical support, then it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, these are the kinds of people who are hired to make such recommendations.

    Mac users need to align ourselves with good government groups to educate our school boards about computer issues. We then need to hold our school board members accountable when they waste our money like this. Attend school board meetings and demand that your members explain their use of your money. If they can't explain themselves to your satisfaction, vote them out of office.
  3. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    Also most schools only think short term. They only look at the buying price. We Mac users think long term. We buy expensive machines at first. But, when it come to maintain them the Macs will be cheaper then pcs with in months.
  4. win_convert macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2004
    because if your school is anything like ours is, it will have to deal with budget cuts for just about everything and they will find that the hardware and licenses for a windows based system a lot cheaper than the obviously more user friendly and reliable mac one. I think that siphoning money from the education system to pay for certain vigilante campaigns in the middle east is perhaps the reason for such in your country(USA) and mine (AUS).
    omg, we even have the same initals, they 10 year olds will be happy.
  5. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2003
    My old high school- Acton Boxborough is mixed, but next door Concord Carlisle just received a whole set of <i>free</i> computers, courtesy of Dell. So that's one reason schools go all PC- bribed by giant 'donations' from PC manufacturers.
  6. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    Every school district in my county abandoned Macs in the late 1990's. LCIII era. A few new Macs survive among those teachers that do yearbook and school newspapers. Only four in my school.

    There was a collapse in the quality of the units shipped to us back then. The school tech people who lived through that nightmare are still making the decisions today. Two years of crap and lies ... Apple will never return to the classroom. The machines were so shoddy, and the service/treatment so poor, that I deserted Apple as well. (I had been using a Mac since I started graduate school in 1984.) Bottom Line: Apple lost our business because they no longer deserved it.

    I have found most PC makers to be a mixed bag as far as quality. Never have liked Dell, Compaq etc. My desktop from Velocity Micro has been outstanding and if I had to buy another PC I would buy one from them again with no hesitation. It is about four years old and XP has been solid as a rock for me.

    I ended up giving Apple another chance due to the fact that the PC notebooks were such crap.

    The iBook (600) and OSX brought me back to Apple. The durability of the iBook makes it a great traveling compantion for presentations. I got hooked again.

    When my PC desktop dies I will switch completely back to Apple products. Maybe sooner if a G5 iMac appears.

    ... wanders off for coffee...
  7. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Nearly all educational facilities requiring students to use some computer teach students under the impression that they are familiar with PCs. There are two reasons for that. The first is the implication that a lot more of today's market uses PCs than any other computer. So faculties imply that students know how to use PCs more than Macs. The second is: Most facilities have professors/teachers without a working knowledge of Mac OS or Mac OS X. If a facilieis decides to train all the professors and teachers to use Macs efficiently, they would also need to train students to use Macs effectively. Both those training processes require time and money, and few facilities are willing to spend either to train faculty members to use a platform less familiar to students than Windows.

    There's also a third reason, but it is not as relevant. During the days of the Mac SE, Apple had most of the marketshare of computers. If computer technology at that time was opt for audio/video production and nearly all of our current technologies, then would be more cost effective for those facilities to use Macs and not Linux, or PCs, or UNIX, etc.
  8. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    That's basically what I was thinking.

    Schools today only look at short term.(like the government and most American people)

    Sure, you can buy a DuLL computer for $449 but guess what?
    - How much will it cost to power the thing?
    - How much will it cost to cool the room all the computers are in?
    - How many people will be needed to support the computer(s)?
    - How much will it cost to install anit-virus software on 100s of computers?
    - How much wiil it cost to fix bugs/virii/ect.?

    Now ask yourself this question refering to Macs. (you won't even have to deal with the ladder two)

    Most importantly, I think, is the lifetime of the computer. How long will it last? I think everybody here knows that Dell doesn't use the *highest quality* parts. I'm not saying that Apple uses the highest quality parts but I believe they are somewhat better.

    I'm not going to buy a computer that crapps out or is obsolete after 2 years. Thats why I bought a Mac, because I know that in 4 or 5 years, my computer will still be somewhat useable. Look at my father, he has a 400 MHz G3 iMac, and it's still chuggin right along, and who knows how old that is... (although he uses the computer for email, internet, word processing, and 2D games)

    And I absolutly HATE the fact that schools use the excuse to get a PC because they think everybody uses a PC at home!!!

    What about Mac users? What about Linux users?
  9. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    well there are multiple reason why schools are converting over. First off apple screwed up a while ago. They got into the schools buy underselling the PC manufactors. Apple logic at the time was the kids us macs at schools so when they get out of schools they will want to use macs. Well the problem the ran into is most kids used Windows computers at home and spent most of there time on them so they never became good a macs and had trouble with them.

    2nd the macs the schools used just had a huge list of problems that went with them. They where constinaly freezing up and locking up. While the windows 95 computers at the time did not have sabitly problems. so that adds up to a lot of miss trust apple. Then apple raised it price it charge the school to the point where schools could not longer afford to upgrade there computers.

    Schools then started adding programing classes and general you going to want windows computers for that. (Macs have more problems with C++ than windows do). The also started adding CAD classes and well the best CAD programs are adviable for windows only. The apple CAD program sucks comparetily. Well now you have 2 classes that need to be PC and not Macs. On top of that they can now get a Dell computer for several 100 less enough to make up the long term saving and it comes with all the software they really need. If the school large enough they general have a tech deparment to cover there problems and it they are good about it they windows computer will stay relivitly trouble free. It is easier to get free tech support from the students.
    Lastly the bussiness world uses PC extermly Heavily so the though is it a good idea to train the students on what they will be using when they get out of school.

    Now collage on the otherhand have both advaible to use. It more or less comes down to what deparement you are in. The engineering and archtechor deparnment will not have a Mac lab. It will be PC labs only due to a massive lack of software for the macs.
    Now other depments will have both is the lack of need software is not in the areas they need them for. Art deparment in the schools general will have a much larger Mac labs due to Macs being more powerful in those areas

    But main reasons are
    1. Apple are costing to much for the school to afford
    2. Apple pissed of a lot of schools several years ago and now Apple is paying the price
    3. Dells are dirt cheap and general they will last about 3-4+ years in the schools. Macs will get maybe an extra year on them but at at 200-300+ price diffences that really not that much time
    4. They started teacher other classes that macs well suck for
    5. The bussiness world using PCs

    BTW the power diffences is more or less kind of mute since they schools will not be using LCDs imac but Emacs with there CRT. And CRT draws a lot more power. So they numbers are a lot closer together. to some time cheaper PC side because they can get an LCD monitor for there PCs while staying under the cost of an Emac
  10. dethl macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My high school (and school district) had a deeper reason for going all PC (compaq to be exact...I really hated it). The head computer techs were Compaq certified, and they were able to convince the school district that going Compaq was the right thing to do. Now, this little contract has our district locked into using Compaq/HP only, and only Compaq certified techs can open the machines to service them, else the warrenty is null and void.

    Luckily, I graduated, and now at a college where Linux is the standard (espically for Computer Science).
  11. JRam macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    Some might argue about that. We have a computer graphics class and the program that they teach us on is Maya which lo' and behold, is available for Mac. Bryce is another modeling program out there that is available for both mac and pc. Now granted those aren't CAD of the engineering variety, but after a googling "CAD mac" managed to find this link with some software links for engineering CAD programs available on mac. Its been my experience that most professional design programs are available for mac and pc.

    Speaking as a college student there are actually more macs than pc's at my school. Our computer labs have either mac, pc, or sun. And for the majority of the work in comp sci the work is done on the sun machines. Then the computer labs across campus usually have both macs and pc. In fact our library's computer labs are split right down the middle with mac and pc. However the main advantage for mac comes in the other sciences. In the bio lab I work at we have mostly mac. And any pc computers we have aren't even connected to the internet because of window's security, or lack of. The only reason we have them is because they come with equipment with proprietary software. All other computers in our labs are mac.
    Our IT and comp support people are trained for both mac and pc, our bookstore sells macs in the store, if you want a pc you have to go online and order it, cant just pick it up in the store. My experience has been that the school is very supportive of all the operating systems out there that are used in the fields. Although I've yet to to find a situation where macs aren't the majority. ... who knows though.. I go to a liberal school so maybe thats just caused everyone there to ''think different'' and they are just using macs to be special :p

    And as far as the business world using PCs... yet again I think that depends a lot on the field. I have yet to run into a problem where there is a program that's only available on PC and doesn't have a mac equivalent, with the exception of software needed to run specific machines. My workplace currently runs solely on mac, not a pc in sight. (Actually my workplace also was one of the labs selected for the Xserve bioinformatics cluster so there is definitely not a problem with mac in biology.)

    I haven't really seen schools going to just pc. I guess it could happen in a place with a small IT dept hellbent on getting pc though. But in any larger organization, especially education, I think its way too hard to phase out any computer platform completely. And as far as them saying that macs wont run on their network.... thats a bunch of BS told by people that are completely ignorant about macs.

  12. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    My old high school replaces their machines every year. It's crazy. They don't have that much money either.

    Idiot IT I suppose.
  13. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Well, I think its not just switching to PC as much as it is switching to DELL. I've seen perfectly good PC's (NEC's etc) just thrown out and replaced by dells!

    There are basically two types of computers (at least in Uni's and Colleges), thats DeLL and Apple. Unfortunately, dell gives very good (insitution) deals with schools so they can replaces ther whole infrastucture with them. Apple is fghting back with thier own institution deals (iBooks) but they should still consider selling *all* macs at cost, or even slightly less and loading them with tons of software, making money back in long term support agreements etc... Dell is the low-price leader, and in this country, the mlitary recieves more money than education... doesn't it (?) so what do you expect them to do? :(

    EDIT: This isn't just happening in U.S BTW, Japan (business sector) is being turned into Dells, again because of economy/monetary issues...
  14. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    I think you missed my point. in the liberary at my collage I thinking it a 50-50 split but in indivial deparements it is very diffent. I really only know the engineeing deparemts since that is where my major is. NONE of there labs have macs in them due to lack of software. The Cad program for mac is a lot weaker then it is for PC. Autocad being the biggest program out there and the mac equivent well sucks. I have used it it has a 4+ year lag on it. Programing you run into complainly errors that will crop up on macs. It will complail a program that should not complile and then when you try to run the program boom. The program crashes. the archtech deparment is mainly PC for the best software is currently advible PC side only (My major I deal with a lot of archetech students who are dualing.) I

    If you can not tell I am a civil engineer. I have over a grand worth of personal software that is used in the industiy very heavily and there is no mac software to match it. Mathcad being one of them. Autocad being the other. Before you say anything I have used the mac Autocad and well it lags behind in time.

    Dont get me wrong I planing on my next laptop being a Mac one but that also due to my view of laptop that will allow me to do it. I dont need the software its lacking since it is a laptop and a 2nddary computer

    Also as said above it mostly they are being replaced by Dell computers. everything is being replaced by dell. Dell is basicly underselling everyone.
  15. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I can't say how I know this, but in many phoenix area high schools this is the reason.

    Good government group... Isn't that an oxymoron?
  16. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    why don't you find the minutes from the school board meeting over why the choose dell over apple. that will answer your question. most of the reason are good ones, but if it is a public school they generally have to pick the cheapest way for the tax players. in alot university, they usually have macs and pc's. if you happen to be in a technically major you can probably get access to sun workstation and linux workstation as well. there is however alot of pc that anything else. you have to accept the fact most of the is a windows world, and by that fact is defacto cheaper considering, training, support, and purchasing.
  17. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    I pity your school system for hiring an incompetent IT staff. The current IT posers should be fired just for their inability to handle pop-ups. I mean give me a break here. Pop-ups? POP-UPS? Not viruses, but POP-UPS! If they wanna save money, the 1st thing that should be brought up is firing the current IT posers and hiring a new crew that knows their stuff.

    Given how some people can't handle the complexity of turning on a PC, you should suggest the school board to add a couple eMacs in addition to the PC farm at the next meeting.
  18. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    No, not at all. A good government organization is not a government agency. It is a citizens' organization. These organization try to ensure that governmental organizations serve the people who elected them. They also insist that the government makes the most efficient use of taxpayer money.
  19. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    I live in upstate NY in the Southern Tier Region and every school around here uses PCs! Actually this is 1 stinking school in the whole sounthern tier thats 100% Mac! Why you ask? The biggest reason is that around here schools all go through a company for tech support. That company is Erie 1 BOCES out of Buffalo, NY. Erie 1 BOCES covers well over 100 schools throghout the southern tier and only the big rich city schools are all Macs besides the one I mention earlier. So why only the big city schools? Well There are only 2, yes 2 fulltime Mac Technicians that work for Erie 1 BOCES. So the first reason why they are all PC is that there isn't any support for them. The school I mentioned earier has their own tech support system and doesn't go through Erie 1 BOCES for their tech support.

    Now back about 6 or 7 years ago there were a few Mac schools in this area, and some where 50/50 or something like that. Even my HS was 100% Mac. I remember we had PowerMac 5200's (all in one) with 75 MHz Processors, 24MB of RAM, 2.1 GB HDD! We got those brand new in 1994 and they were STILL being used as the main computer lab when I graduated in 2001 with out any problems what so ever. I know because I provided a lot of the tech support for it! But then when there was a problem you had to call a PC Tech Support person from Erie 1 BOCES to come out and you all probably know what its like to have a PC person working on a Mac! It just doesn't work! So eventually my school, along with all the other schools switched to the PC, mostly Dells. This was mentioned earlier, but they are quite cheaper in the long run, especially after state aid per PC. You're probably talking for a $499-$999 PC, about $300 cost to the school after state aid. Now that schools are all PC it will be almost impossible for them to change again. Its not just buying new PCs for the labs/classrooms. You have to buy new Mac Servers, and not just 1 of them, more like 4 to 6 new servers depending on the size of the school. The tiny 320 student K-12 school I worked for as a PC Technician had 4 servers! You also have to buy all new software for the Mac instead of the PC. Most schools around here use a program called WinSchool for student database stuff, management, attendance, report cards, etc. So you would either have to buy MacSchool, or Apple's own PowerSchool, either isn't very cheap at all! You would have to hire your own Mac Technicians and find a way to pay them every school year, plus all of the hidden costs! I calculated for this little tiny 320 student K-12 school that I used to work for, it would cost over $160,000 just in the hardware alone to switch back to the Mac platform. Thats not counting the software costs, and the tech support costs.

    So I guess the biggest reason is cost! It just plain costs too much in the beginning for schools to use Macs. They don't see 4 or 5 years down the road. Some schools can't afford to even look 2 years down the road. They need new technology and they need the cheapest solution today, and thats the PC unfortunately. We all know that the Mac is cheaper in the long haul, but schools can't afford for them to pay for themselves.

    One last thing is that the Tech Support (PC People) will tell all the superintendents, Technology Directors, etc that Macs are crap, they break down all the time, they're hard to use, they're over priced, there isn't any software for them, etc. So schools don't buy them. PC Tech Support people say this because some of them know that they'd probably be out of a job if they went Mac because of the less problems it would bring to the school district. Some just flat out hate Macs and don't even want to look at them!
  20. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2002
    Kellogg IA
    It's the same way around here. Teachers want Mac's, the Tech people are fearful of their jobs and insist on Windows based solutions. Now we have teachers trying to make movies on Windows Movie maker and getting very frustrated, when they could be using Imovie and being productive.
  21. aldo macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    England, UK
    The reason people are switiching over to PC is because it is so much cheaper.

    If you think that the cost of one or two viruses and worms is high enough to recover the hundreads of dollars PER MACHINE a school will save by going Dell or another good PC company (yes, Dell are good. Machines are quite good - better than a lot of the other stuff - and very well priced. They also don't take weeks to deliver, 1 week is a long time for Dell, whereas it's normal for Apple) then quite simply you don't know how to administer PCs.

    Most hardware firewalls will now strip out trojans and viruses on route, including on email attachments. They cost around $500 for a good one, and that's it - the end of viruses and trojans.

    The trouble is Apple have just fcked up the edu sector. Marketshare counts when it comes to programs and they have lost a lot of good programs that will never be ported over because of the %ages.

    Someone above hit the nail on the head and got why Apple just won't break into the edu or business enviroment.

    Not only that, with Mac there might be 1 or 2 apps to do a certain task, max. On PC there will be 5+ which means the school can get the companies to fight for the best price.

    I do see a bright future for Linux however. A lot of good software and easy to maintain if you know how. Hopefully that's where the market will go and get rid of the MS and Apple tax for good ;).
  22. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    job security. . . tech people are smart enough to know that macs are much more reliable than windows machines. . . so if they fill the school with windows machines they will most certainly be working constatnly to fix all the windows problems and thus have a job for many years to come!!!! support the IT industry. . .buy windows! . . . j/k
  23. daxdagr8t macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2004
    This happened to my school as well. My school received a bunch of money for renovation and stuff, after the renovation they had a report published on where the money went andi remeber there was like more than $100,000 set aside for the future purchase of over 220 new dell desktops and notebooks.In addition to that they spend another $60,000 or so setting up a wired network, which i really did not understand becaused they can just go wi-fi and save a bunch more.
    "Now almost a year later the Dell's are doing crazy things, such as a teacher was doing a presentation (not on the internet) and during the middle of it a POP-up AD poped up a few times. And if thats not bad enogh in the middle of a class an ad for porn poped up, well now there coming to me for sure." They bought the dells the next year after i graduated and like 6 months later they had the same problem. My chemistry who was die hard mac hater, admitted to me that this would not have happened if my school bought macs. now they ended paying a bunch load of money to fix the spywares and adwares in the whole school system.
  24. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    all that means is the school has an elcrapo firewall set up. If set up that firewall right are not phased by it (if you look at my firelogs you will see that I have block out a good list of pop program beforeI got around to removing them not a single pop every came up). Also there other trick is to make sure the computer stay upto date.

    The other point about switching to PC is most schools now on the mac side are running on the old colorful imacs with the G3 and they are having problems with them. THey need to update there computers cost wise PC are by far a cheaper solution. Long run is comes out to be about the same because of how long each computer is used and the size of the deal they are getting is more than likely undercutting Macs several 300+ buck per computer removing the long haul cost advatage. Plus you have to remeber schools can not really plan more than a year or 2 in the future they dont have the money now but they need new equiment now to cover there current needs. . Hell my HS was using 5-7 year old computers. hell they still had some old macs that had black and white screens and I left the HS in 2001.

    The other reason is if you think about it the best solution is for the schools to have both but the problem lies if the schools can not afford to have them both so you go with what will a huge majority of the students be using at home and out in the work place..... You guess it PCs. Yeah maccy with be SOL but they are also think of how much cheaper it is to convert over and what will stundent be using out side of school. I know my moms school districe is in the processes of converint over. It used to be a per mac school districe but now they are convtering over the PCs and the cost is a huge reason why they are doing it. It just plannly so much cheaper. My guess is a lot of the computer now will last 6-7 maybe 8+ years. It going to be hardware failure when they are replaced not them being to far outdated. Hell the family computer at my house is 4 years old and it still has 2-3+ years left in it for what the family uses it for. My grandands computer I believe is 7 years old now and it going to go seveal more years because he does not need any more power.

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