Victoria, Australia Teacher Laptops
First, did the numpty who scrawled (must have because it was certainly NOT written) this article actually do ANY research on the Teacher Laptop program? Here let me answer that for you......NO YOU DIDN'T. As for your wife's XP machine in Blighty, the devices here are never more than 4 years old (ok, maybe 4.5 years for any ST reading this) and each machine is entitled to a replacement battery during the warranty period.
Second, the laptops were NOT compulsory and voluntary choice by the teachers. If they wanted one they could chose a Windows device or if they wanted something shiny (actually said to me by a Principal when I asked why they were changing from Windows to a Mac) an Apple Mac and then whine about the price difference. I have no idea where you get the $899 price for the Mac because it sure as shit wasn't the price that was available here in Australia. Also, the Lenovo price was off you a few hundred $$$$s as well. And no, NO manufacturer bloatware installed because the Education Department tech guys built their own image with appropriate software for deployment.
The warranty on the Windows type devices was excellent. You could run over the damn thing and it would be replaced under warranty. If the Mac had a coffee stain on it, the Apple tech would pack up their tools, say the warranty was void and hastily leave the building. True story, first hand account!
There are some 65,000 teachers in Victoria Education. Now imagine they all decide they want to buy their own machines. Fine but I ain't touching it. If I do then Harvey Norman/Dick Smith or some other low level retailer will tell them the warranty is null and void then I get it in the neck from the most IT illiterate people in the Universe; teachers! Yes, teachers. "The Internet is not working" = "I can't access Facebook while I am supposed to be teaching my class".
From a tech point of view the Teacher Laptop program was a work of genius. Us techs could do warranty work without any repercussions and if it got slammed with spyware, viruses etc, it was about a 30 minute reimage and was all working again. My problem were those who were too stupid to even purchase an external HDD to backup their "important" 3 or 4 year old photos that were so essential to their lives. This was even after I found cheap devices on sale and emailed to the staff on the school email DL. Of 110 teachers at one school, THREE purchased an external HDD.
If these idiots were allowed to purchase their own devices then I would be swamped because their ChromeBook won't run (insert application other than Google Docs). In 6 years time they would be complaining Vista won't run anything and I would bet that some of the numpties would still be running Windows 98. I was asked to configure a new graduate teacher's laptop and get it running on the network. It was running Windows 8, an i3 and 4GB RAM so in all fairness a reasonable device except it would bend when picked up. (Nice job HP) They had been assured by the salesman that it was the top of the range machine (yes, top of the bottom most range) but unfortunately it was running Windows 8 HOME. Instead of being able to GPO the configurations I had to do them all manually. Bit annoying when I had on average 2.7 minutes per machine per day and that did not include any Servers. YMMV but that was mine. Also, I do NOT know your Administrator password and I cannot reset it because your clever tech kid/friend/neighbour may have encrypted your files to use that password and you haven't backed up your data have you.
So well done Teacher's Union. If I am forced to work on any BYODs then they shall go to the bottom of the queue and fixed when I have time and ANY porn found on a device on school premises SHALL be reported to the Principal. Connect to the network and you shall, remember EduSTAR, and the scanning begins. No, not a bitter tech, just overworked.