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State Schools to be Supplied with Microsoft

\18 September 2001 Media Statement

All New Zealand State Schools to be Supplied with Microsoft Software

The Government has agreed a licensing deal with Microsoft New Zealand to provide all state and integrated schools, and their staff, with computer software.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said the deal was an exciting breakthrough in the advancement of information and communication technology in the New Zealand education system.

The Government has been in negotiation with Microsoft for the past year, and Trevor Mallard today’s described today’s deal as a highly competitive arrangement. The overall cost will be around $10 million for the 2002 and 2003 calendar years.

The software package to schools includes access to a comprehensive range of Microsoft packages including Microsoft Windows Operating System (all versions), Microsoft Office, and Encarta. The agreement with Microsoft also covers schools requiring Microsoft Office for the Macintosh.

“What we are supplying to schools is the very latest versions of these programmes and the deal covers the licence. Schools who choose to use earlier versions will no longer have to pay the licence for them," said Trevor Mallard.

The deal, through the Multi Serve Education Trust, starts from the beginning of next year although some of the delivery will start before the end of this year. Responsibility for the distribution, help with installation and some training has been given to EdCom, a division of Multi Serve.

"Currently schools have a variety of computer software arrangements which generally have been negotiated school by school. Under the new arrangement with Microsoft, all schools will have their Microsoft desktop software licensed under the one agreement. That's an estimated 70,000 personal computers covered.

"While schools can ultimately make their own decisions regarding the provision of ICT, the Government's bulk buying power puts us in the position to get a good deal for schools. This is something I promised to investigate before the election and I am delighted that it has come to fruition.

"A bonus of today’s agreement is that the package will also be available to all primary and secondary teachers and other staff on their home computers.

“There are two other big benefits that will come hand in hand with today’s deal. One is that this will contribute to the general efficiency of the administration of schools throughout the country.

“The other is the financial savings. We are supplying this package free of charge, and the dollar savings, particularly for larger schools with large numbers of computers, will be thousands of dollars.”

ENDS

The package contains the following software:

* Microsoft Office Professional (including Microsoft Office: Mac 2001)
* Microsoft Works
* Microsoft Windows Operating System Upgrades (all versions)
* Microsoft Front Page
* Microsoft Back Office Client Access License
* Microsoft Press Office Starts Here, (for on line training of staff)
* Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite
* Microsoft Visual Studio Professional (programming tools)

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