The role of manageability in cutting the total cost of owning a computer is widely accepted among corporate buyers. But it's not well-known in education circles, where administrators are loath to spend money on computer maintenance. As educators get smarter about networking, however, that's changing.

"Concern about manageability is gaining a foothold in education," says Phil Atwood, IBM's manager for PC strategy and marketing programs in the North American education industry unit.

Manageability is a combination of hardware and software. To be manageable, a computer's hardware must be designed so...

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