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Irish government drops Blackberry, picks up iPads

The Irish government has announced that it will be dropping support for Blackberrys in favor of iPhones and Android devices, according to SiliconRepublic. The move affects Teachta Dála's (TD's) in the lower house of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament). The government has decided that it's no longer cost effective to maintain Blackberry support. According to SiliconRepublic:

One of the reasons Blackberry support is being dropped is the Oireachtas ICT unit no longer wishes to pay to keep a BlackBerry Enterprise Server running when no such server is required for Android or iPhone devices.

"The provision of support for BlackBerrys carries the additional cost of two separate servers, power, cooling, administration and annual support," the spokesperson explained.

In another change up, the Irish government is also initiating a program where it will buy iPads wholesale and then allow TD's who wish to use the devices to refund the cost to the Oireachtas. Originally the Oireachtas planned to purchase the iPads outright and distribute them to its members, but because of budgetary constraints, the governing body has now decided that members who want them must pay the government back for them.

Purchasing all new iPads, however, is a budget-cutting move, reports SR:

One of the reasons the Oireachtas Commission appears determined to pursue the rollout of iPads is a 'print on demand' strategy with respect to parliamentary documents.

An Oireachtas Commission spokesperson confirmed the move was part of a strategy to reduce print production costs throughout Leinster House.

The idea is that instead of every office or department having printers, a smaller number of strategically located printers around Leinster House and Dail Eireann will be able to detect a member's iPad via Apple's AirPrint wireless technology and print a document from the iPad.

Ireland follows in the footsteps of other governments around the world, including in the UK, Uganda, and the US.

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