A University in Australia has swapped its Linux machines for Mac OS X.

The University of Melbourne's Trinity College is ditching its lab of 20 PCs running Debain GNU/Linux for G5 iMacs running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger because of the "slick user interface", said administrator Tim Bell.

Bell told Computerworld Today: "Looking at the maturity of Debian as a desktop and it’s not quite there, particularly compared with Mac OS X, which has come a long way."

An additional to the iMacs, the college is investing in 33 eMacs for the library and Xserve RAID storage systems for server backups in a deal worth around $90,000.

Other reasons for the switch include the "reliability" of Mac OS X, the fact that it has "minimal updates compared with Windows," and its support of Microsoft Office – previously the college was using OpenOffice in Linux.

Cost is also a factor. Bell explained: "If you can run your business without paying Microsoft, significant cost savings can be achieved".