Drew technology to give students a choice—Apple Macbook added to CI lineup.

MADISON, NJ—For the first time in the 27-year history of Drew University’s Computer Initiative, students entering in the fall of 2011 will answer today’s most burning technology question: “Are you a Mac or PC?”  In addition to the Windows-based laptop machines that have been the Drew standard for decades, members of the university community will now have a much-anticipated Macbook option.

Drew officials first explored the possibility of offering Macbooks when the results of their last technology survey showed a preference among students for the Apple machines.

“According to the survey, 34 percent of current Drew students said they would have purchased a Mac for college if the university’s Computer Initiative didn’t exist,” says Alan Candiotti, assistant vice president for university technology.  “Since this is consistent with current market trends, we felt it was time to add Apple products to our lineup of offerings.”

The Macbook option comes as the newest part of Drew’s award-winning Computer Initiative, a program that supplies a free state-of-the-art laptop to each of the school’s new students.  Each computer comes loaded with a suite of software that ranges from Microsoft Office to Novell GroupWise to SPSS.  Support for both hardware and software is available on campus at the Computing and Network Services (CNS) Helpdesk.

In preparation for the Macbook’s Drew debut, CNS plans to train its staff in troubleshooting, maintaining and repairing the Apple machines.  The university is also assembling comprehensive software services for Mac that offer students a computing experience that’s comparable to that of the PC option.

Drew officials take great pride in the Computer Initiative program, which was the first of its type in the nation, and look forward to customizing it to meet students’ technology needs.

“Our recent survey of students showed that 19 percent of them already own an Apple computer,” says Candiotti.  “Adding a Mac option is our best effort to remain within the framework of our highly successful Computer Initiative and, at the same time, give students what they want.”

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Posted: March 1, 2011