Agriculture Dept. buys Gateway PCs

The Agriculture Department has awarded a $24 million contract to Gateway Inc. for PCs for the Common Computing Environment.

Gateway will provide more than 26,000 computers to the service center agencies supported by the CCE, including the Farm Service Agency, the Rural Development Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The CCE is a modernization initiative to provide a common set of computers, applications and other technologies so farmers can get assistance at a single place instead of visiting three different agencies.

The agencies will obtain more than 14,800 midrange Gateway E-Series desktop computers, 5,900 high-end E desktops and 5,500 Gateway 450 notebooks for agents in the field, according to company officials.

"We chose Gateway because the company offered the best value over the proposals we received," said Scott Snover, USDA's CCE program manager in a statement.

Gateway's Custom Integrated Solutions group simplified PC set up for the agencies by providing pre-imaged PCs with USDA software built-in, the company said. Most of the computers have been shipped, the company said.

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