Google ChromeOS has a significant mind share in US, having taken 50% sales market share in the K12 education system in the US in 2015. The OS is popular because it makes it easy for schools to fulfill their online assessment requirement cheaply, but is it preparing students for employment in the real world?
In a report entitled Keys to the Future: Align Workforce Readiness Skills to Ensure Student Success the IDC looked at the most in-demand skills in today’s workforce, and the skills needed for tomorrow’s best jobs.
IDC reviewed more than 76 million job postings, 25,000 job boards and staffing companies’ corporate Web sites — representing about 80 percent of all postings last year — to identify the positions expected to have the highest anticipated growth and wages through 2024.
They found proficiency in Microsoft Office (#3) and Microsoft PowerPoint (#9) were some of the most important skills.
“While over the past three years we’ve seen the breadth of needed skills for jobs increase by 68 percent, we’ve also seen that communication skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office and PowerPoint, remain vitally important for success in the workplace,” says Anthony Salcito, vice president, Worldwide Education.
Fortunately for students ChromeOS’s success in the education market is limited to the US, with Microsoft Windows remaining the number one operating system in education with 43% global market share in 2015, up from 39% in 2014, according to Futuresource’s research.
Android has been the biggest loser in this scenario, with Windows devices replacing Android in Mexico which saw more than 960,000 devices deployed in a nationwide project in 2015, while in Thailand, the One Tablet per Child scheme in 2014 was scrapped and replaced with a teacher notebook program which began in 2015 and is utilising Windows notebooks. Apple also lost significant ground in regards to its market share globally in 2015, falling 3% ‘YoY’ while losing 7% of share within the US market alone.
In USA Microsoft has responded by making significant changes to its ecosystem, introducing a partnership with Lightspeed Systems to provide improved management capabilities which has been one of the key driving forces behind Chromebooks, while working with its OEM partners to bring a range of lower cost devices to compete directly in the same price category as Chromebooks such as the HP Stream Pro G2, Acer TravelMate B117, and Lenovo N22.
Phil Maddocks, Market Analyst for Education Technology at Futuresource Consulting believes that, “the rise of Chromebooks in the US market has been unprecedented and has been the result of a perfect set of market conditions which has driven the platform to account for more than half of the device sales in 2015. The global market perspective remains totally different however with Microsoft dominating. Microsoft and Apple are both reacting to Google’s rise in the US making significant improvements to their respective ecosystems, while Microsoft is bringing new lower cost devices to the market to compete directly with Google in the sub $300 category.”