The market share of Windows has been under sustained attack in USA following the move to online assessment which favoured Google Chromebook’s cheap and cheerful solutions. Chromebooks managed to take more than 50% market share in USA in a very short time, and their success there started bleeding over in the education market in the rest of the world and the US enterprise market also.
This year Microsoft started responding strongly, helping OEMs release a range of sub-$300 Windows 10 PCs, developing Windows 10S as a more locked down and manageable version of Windows, and releasing a number of tools for educators such as Microsoft Teams for collaboration and Intune for management.
It appears the measures has been having an effect, as education market research company FutureSource reports Microsoft has gained back 3.9 market share between Q2 and Q3 2017 in USA and 9.4% worldwide. The gains appear to have come primarily from MacOS and iOS in USA, and Android worldwide, but FutureSource notes that the growth of Chromebooks also appears to have been blunted.
In a blog post, Microsoft says Windows device share grew 4.3 percent on devices under $300 and 8.2 percent on devices over $300. Microsoft says the education market itself expanded 15% YoY, with large sales increases in markets like India and Argentina.
Microsoft says they hope to see further advances due to capabilities like Pen and Touch in Windows 10 PCs and their good support for Mixed Reality, which can be used for educational purposes in the classroom.
FutureSource notes that they expect a replacement cycle in 2018 as Chromebooks sold in 2015 reach end of life. Hopefully, at that point, Microsoft’s new offerings will be both mature and compelling, and they can once again become the OS of choice in education in USA.