Maine’s school laptop contract revives PC-Mac debate

Maine’s new school laptop contract has renewed debate over Macs vs. PCs in schools.

A spokeswoman for Maine’s pro-business governor said one of the factors that tipped the scale in favor of Hewlett-Packard in a contract to provide new laptops to thousands of public school students is that its laptops utilize Windows, the operating system favored by businesses.

The selection of the HP ProBook 440 laptop over the less costly Apple iPad tablet or the more-costly Apple MacBook Air laptop revived the Apple-vs.-PC debate that dates to the inception of the program, which currently distributes about 70,000 laptops to schools.

“Most of the businesses in Maine and the U.S. are using a computer that runs Windows,” Adrienne Bennett, a spokeswoman for Gov. Paul LePage, said April 29. “We don’t want it to be a toy. We want it to be a tool to prep students for their future and what’s used in the workplace.”

(Next page: The debate unfolds)

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