Southern Illinois University picks Dell Windows 8 tablets over iPad for new freshman

Earlier this week, we reported that the state government of New York would be moving its 120,000 employees over to Office 365. Today, yet another large organization announced it was switching from Gmail to Office 365, with a little something extra included to boot!

The group is Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and the school is not only giving its 30,000 students access to Microsoft's cloud productive service, it is also providing all of their incoming freshmen students with a free Dell Latitude 10 tablet running on Windows 8. The tablet will come preloaded with Office 365 along with digital textbooks, course materials and more

In a post on the Microsoft in Education blog, the school's chief information officer David Crain talked about why they picked the Dell Latitude 10, and also took the time to gently slam the limitations of Apple's iPad. Crain said the iPad cannot run the Pearson electronic course material that the school uses due to the tablet's lack of Adobe Flash support. He added that the school will save $4 million over four years in picking the Latitude 10 over the iPad. He stated:

The tablets offered 50 percent more processing power and 100 percent more RAM for the money, they are more robust and will last longer, and they come with a better warranty than Apple offered. Windows 8 tablets have better technical features, such as a USB port, they are HDMI-compliant, and they have a port replicator so we can use them in our labs with keyboards, mouse, and monitors. Unlike iPads, Windows 8 tablets run full-scale applications and we can plug them into our existing Microsoft management and security tools to easily maintain them in a way that’s consistent with our policies.

Crain went on to say that Microsoft, Dell and Intel have provided additional funding to the school to contribute to the development of over 30 bespoke school apps for use on the tablets. Crain says the apps will include campus calendars, classroom presentations, dining hall schedules and menus, and even security and GPS-based mapping features.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Dell

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Read the blog. Nothing was given away. Also, the college already invested in Pearson, which does not run on i-pad. This, above all other things, is the reason they went with a windows platform.

Windows 8 (and RT), Office 365...its all up just a nice rounded package. apple lacks Office, google lacks the desktop OS, but MS has it all. I think its a great benefit with Win8 coming out that the whole ecosystem really fits together well.

Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

Like Apple doesn't do the exact same thing?

mrp04 said,

Like Apple doesn't do the exact same thing?

Re-read my original post. I mentioned big companies do this all the the time. That would include Apple.

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

So, hold on, donating to a school and allowing students to get free gear is a bad thing? I think you're being a bit too critical about this.

GP007 said,

So, hold on, donating to a school and allowing students to get free gear is a bad thing? I think you're being a bit too critical about this.

No, not a bad thing at all for the students using the device. You are correct, I'm thinking to much. It's 2:40am in California and I need to take my a s s to bed.

Edited by JHBrown, Aug 17 2013, 9:05am :

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.


Or like the article stated, it was the better choice fiscally and functionally. Its ridiculous how often people cry 'paid off' because they just personally can't fathom a deal like that going through. If Microsoft or others were paying companies off so often, we'd see it in their financial reports - they are a public company, so it would come up.

Assuming you haven't ever used Windows PC/Laptop"Intel icore Chipset"/Office, therefore you have no clues of the benefits having full powerful OS over Handicap one.

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

Schools also get a HUGE discount on Microsoft and dell stuff through state contracts and educational discounts. So without the money it might have still been cheaper to go with dell. Apples discount is only $50 to $100 dollars.

Also office 365 is completely free for schools and libraries.

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

With NYS pricing the dell latitude is $588 vs $699 for the apple ipad with the same storage. Illinois pricing will be different but I do not suspect it will be that different.

JHBrown said,
Just wondering how much money Microsoft "donated" to this school in order to secure this deal. Big businesses do this all the time and we never know the underlining details. It just makes them look good in the publics eyes. However, these freshman are getting a good deal.

So all the positive benefits the article mentioned couldn't possibly be enough to convince the school to go with solution without a payoff from Microsoft?