School laptops are the first fruit. The Republic’s Ministry of Education and Science buys 1,100 laptops without a Windows operating system
A new batch of 1,134 laptops bought for teachers in Tatarstan will have the Russian operating system based on Astra Linux pre-installed. The Republic’s Ministry of Digitization said it was the first delivery of devices with Russian software to educational institutions. As Realnoe Vremya learned, the authorities of Tatarstan will soon switch to Russian software.
Laptops with Astra Linux are purchased for schools in Tatarstan
Tatarstan schools will be one of the first in the republic to start switching to Russian software. The Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan signed two new state contracts for the delivery of 1,134 laptops with the pre-installed Russian operating system Astra Linux instead of Windows from the American Microsoft.
It is the first purchase of school laptops with Linux in the republic. “All laptops bought for schools in Tatarstan will be equipped with the Russian software. It will be Astra Linux,” Ilya Nachvin, First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Digitization in Tatarstan, told Realnoe Vremya.
Previous school laptops were mostly equipped with Windows 7 PRO. Since 2010, the projects “Computer for school” and “Computer for teachers” have been implemented in Tatarstan – it was planned to update all computers in the educational institutions of the republic and to equip teachers with laptops. The then Minister of Communications of the Republic, Nikolay Nikiforov, was the ideologue of the school’s “armament”. Tatarstan’s President Rustam Minnikhanov supported his initiative. 450 million rubles were allocated for the implementation of the programs. However, seven years ago, it was decided to upgrade the laptops purchased for 40,000 schools in Tatarstan, purchased in 2010-2011. The first lot of 555 laptops for 27,000 rubles each was bought for 15 million rubles – first the teachers of the new schools received the equipment.
Local IT companies received the tenders: ABAK and ICL-KPO VS. According to Vyacheslav Sergeyev, director of ABAK’s auxiliary equipment department, in 2011 the company shipped 3,000 PCs. “The ministry wanted very cheap computers within a limited time. It was a Chinese platform that was completely assembled here,” he claimed. According to Sergeyev, there were two configurations in total, but in general the computers were identical for all schools.”
ICL Techno from Kazan this time won two tenders for 116 million rubles. This is the first lot of school laptops with Russian software in the republic, which will replace the existing 36,000 Windows-based laptops.
The press service of the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan confirmed information about the transition to Russian software for Realnoe Vremya. According to the ministry, the laptops will be purchased as part of the Federal Project Digital Educational Environment of Education.
“In 2022, two public contracts (to supply laptops and multifunction printers) were signed. The delivery period runs exclusively until June 30, 2022,” said the press service of the ministry.
The money will be provided in the federal project Digital Educational Environment of Education national Project, which aims to promote the transition of educational organizations to Russian software. The course for import substitution in the education system was set before the pressure of sanctions and the exit of Western companies from Russia. A year ago, the federal authorities held talks with important providers of Russian software about preferential conditions for public contracts for educational institutions.
Import Substitution Offer Winner
“As for the operating system of laptops, let’s say that according to the public contract, an operating system with a graphical user interface is installed on the laptops, the information on which is added to the Unified Register of Russian Software for Computers and Databases,” said the press service of the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan.
The tender documents do not state which Russian operating system is to be installed on laptops. Today the register includes 12,916 Russian software products.
The Tatar Ministry of Digitization, which created the reference task before the purchase, became more specific. As part of the tender preparation, requirements for import substitution were created.
“Today, software and devices are being replaced at an accelerated pace due to the geopolitical situation. ICL has been supplying devices with Russian software for a long time, and the number of products with Russian operating system will continue to increase. In this case, rejection of foreign products will help our economy to increase demand for Russian goods, including software and hardware,” ICL Techno told Realnoe Vremya.
The Cabinet of Ministers is not yet replacing computers
The course on import substitution in the republic’s IT infrastructure continues. According to the first deputy minister for digitization of Tatarstan, the government of Tatarstan plans to convert Russian software as well. Official Kremlin spokeswoman Liliya Galimova said there was no update yet:
Meanwhile, IT market players claim that the new shipments of laptops and PCs do not have the Windows Microsoft operating system pre-installed and there is no choice.
The American Microsoft Corporation has announced the suspension of sales of goods and services in Russia after the start of the special operation in Ukraine. But there are many unanswered questions in this official statement. The players did not understand what the impossibility of buying new copies of software and Windows licenses meant, and the company itself did not give instructions to owners of already paid subscriptions, for example, in Microsoft Office, and purchased copies of Windows .
“Announcing an exit and exit are a bit two different things. Now everyone has chosen banners, but after that they started to act, because this can be seen in all companies. If Microsoft leaves, it is predictable, there will be no surprises,” MPs in the State Duma said.
The answer of the general director of Astra GC Ilya Sivtsev is positive.
Experts say our stereotypes and unwillingness to learn something new are holding back the widespread adoption of Linus-powered PCs and laptops. After all, these systems are no worse than Windows in almost all parameters.