A program to provide desktop computers to every Indiana high school student is giving an Indiana company and open-source provider Linspire an opening to provide low-cost systems to students across the state.
The Indiana State Department of Education has stated its wishes that the 300,000 high school students in the state each receive their own computer. Indiana-based Wintergreen Systems has been supplying hundreds of computers to students in pilot programs.
"So far shipments are pretty much scattered around the state," said Aaron Leonard, Wintergreen vice president. "The reception has been fabulous. Everyone is on a very tight budget." Leonard said the relative low-cost of the Linspire operating system coupled with its ease-of-use has helped make the program successful to date.
Nearly all of the computers shipped are loaded with the Linspire OS and OfficeStar, the open-office software that includes word processing, spreadsheet, and database functions. Individual school districts often load some software of their own, and some schools have been able to save additional funds by booting software directly off networks.
Very few computers are being shipped with Microsoft's Windows operating system, said one source, who asked not to be identified by name.