London borough drops Windows, goes with Chromebooks, saves around £400,000

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Microsoft has more reasons to worry about Linux. After reports that an Indian state switched from Windows XP to Linux, now a UK-based organization is ditching Windows and going for Linux-based Chromebooks. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is going the open source way as it shifts away from Windows XP desktops in favor of 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks for employees and 300 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas across the borough.

In what could be considered the most cost-efficient way possible, the council said it has started a migration project to deal with Microsoft’s Windows XP support cut-off ahead of the 8 April deadline.

The council claims the migration to help it save around £400,000: half of the total cost by not choosing new Windows desktops, and a further £200,000 on electricity costs with Chromebooks being more energy-efficient than desktop PCs.

According to Rupert Hay-Campbell, ICT and information governance officer at the borough, the council is paying £200 for each Chrome device compared to a £500-£600 Windows laptop or a £350 Windows desktop. Hay-Campbell told Computing that Samsung 303Cs is the council’s Chromebook of choice because of its “impressive battery life and portability.”

The council earlier had 3,500 desktop computers and 800 laptops for its 3,500 employees. If all goes as planned, it expects to complete the migration to Chromebooks and Chromeboxes by early June.

The council, however, is also mulling over investing in 600 new Windows desktop machines at a cost of around £340 each, especially for those who want to use specialist software like AutoCAD or streetlight-management systems which currently can’t be delivered through the Citrix environment.

“As we are a council, we have some obscure apps that would need a lot of work to run through Citrix,” said Hay-Campbell.

Monika Bhati
Formerly a senior assistant editor at EFY, Monika loves disseminating what she absorbs through her journey as a writer. She is fascinated by science and technology, and Paulo Coelho, homemaking and games are among some of her deep passions. When she’s not writing for the site, you can find her spending quality time with her two lovely daughters.