Microsoft Miles Ahead of Google and Apple in Education Sector

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Despite Google’s increasingly efforts to make Chromebook devices cheaper and widely available, and Apple’s growing effort in the sector, it is Microsoft that is ruling the education sector, company’s corporate vice president of Windows and Devices group said on Monday.

Windows continues to be the leading, global platform for K-12 education, according to the latest data provided by marketing and research firm Futuresource, which tracks sales of mobile computers such as notebook, Chromebook, netbook and tablets. In fact, the volume of Windows devices shipped in 2015 were twice as many as the closest competitor. The firm notes that there has been a 20 percent growth in the sales of Windows devices.

“Microsoft is the clear global market leader, reaching 47% of the mobile computer K-12 OS market in Q4 of 2015,” said Mike Fisher, associate director of education technology at Futuresource.

While neither of the firms have broken down the numbers to reveal which devices are more popular among schools and college students, Microsoft says that laptops such as Acer Travel Mate B117, Asus Transformer Book Flip TP 200, Dell Latitude II Education Series (Model 3150), HP Stream 11 PRO Notebook PC, Lenovo N22, and Surface Pro 4 are seeing good adoption. Some of these devices cost as low as $200.

The Redmond, Washington-based company says that Windows 10, its latest desktop operating system, coupled with Office 365 Education, and Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows are offering teachers and students a great platform for productivity.

“Because Windows 10 is compatible with older devices, students and their families are still able to use those devices while getting all the advantages of Windows 10, which is free,” said Matt Robinson, Lowanna College’s Information & Communication Technology Manager, who use Microsoft’s devices. “The migration to Windows 10 has truly been a win-win,” Robinson says. “It’s helped our community gain a better return on investment, and also helped achieve our vision of providing students with 24/7 access to technology both at school and at home.”

People from elsewhere have similar stories to share. “We implemented Windows 10 to take advantage of the additional education-specific features,” said Lyneth Crighton, head of innovation and staff development at Brescia House School in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Students enjoy the touchscreen abilities and Office 365 features,” Crighton said, while “the teachers love being able to use educational apps they find in the Windows Store and OneNote Class Notebooks.”

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