Macintouch linked to this list of things that Apple should do to reclaim the education market. I don't agree with all of them, especially the large number of requests for lower pricing on several items. To me, the most important things for Apple to take from that list are:
- Assume that the IT person is a Windows person, and you've got to sell them on Macs.
- Make Mac Certification easy and cheap to obtain.
- Provide a special software package with the utilities for IT departments.
- Offer better education channel warranties that 1 year. (this is the most important one for me)
- Give school districts more advance notice of product developments, even if they have to sign NDAs. (This is also ridiculous on Apple's part. Our Dell rep handed me their roadmap, showing me when each of the new models would be introduced for the next year. Try getting that from Apple.)
- Encourage hardware loaners to schools. (This is especially important for places that don't have an installed Mac base. Loan out some PowerBook G4s to some of the Administrators, and see how quickly they order more)
Dell introduced their Optiplex GX150 mini-tower today, just as the roadmap I saw last month told me they would. This is the machine that I plan to standardize on for faculty and staff for all of our spring/summer purchases. By next fall, I imagine that a Pentium 4 chipset that uses SDRAM will be available, as I'm not keen on the expensive RDRAM memory.