Google Chromebooks will be rolled out across the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, claiming this to be the most cost-effective method of avoiding problems moving off the now out-dated Windows XP platform.
According to the local authority, savings upwards of £200,000 will be made by choosing an alternative to Windows-operated desktops.
Furthermore, because the search giant’s offering is more energy-efficient than Microsoft’s, a further estimated £200,000 of savings will be made on electricity.
Earlier this week, it was reported that most councils in the UK are unprepared for XP updates to be discontinued, meaning Barking and Dagenham is in the minority as it attempts to move away from the 13-year-old OS.
The local authority claims that the migration project was started in mid-2013 in order to provide a platform before the 8th April expiry date.
Rupert Hay-Campbell, the borough’s information governance officer, told the UK press that a number of factors were taken into consideration when the decision to ditch Windows was made.
He claims that the Chromebook chosen, Samsung 303C was picked for its good battery life and portability, as well as being the cheapest solution.
However, several other options were considered first, Hay-Campbell says, including replacing existing hardware with Windows 7 alternatives or repurposing desktop clients into a virtual desktop environment (VDI).
Microsoft’s licensing costs were a factor that made any Windows-based solution too expensive, claimed the borough’s IT boss and led to Windows 8 not even being considered as an option.
Hay-Campbell also noted that because Chromebooks look and act like Windows devices, he hopes that training and the learning process will be minimal.