According to a new market report from Futuresource, Microsoft Windows is still in use in the majority of classrooms across the country despite the lower cost of Google’s Chromebooks running the ChromeOS.
The results of the report found that public schools teaching students in kindergarten through the 12th grade purchased twice as many Windows computers as they did its closest competitor, thought to be Google.
Google’s Chromebooks have crept into the top spot in the education market, beating out both Apple and Microsoft. The lightweight laptops, which can be purchased for as low as $149, run ChromeOS, a modified version of the Google Chrome browser.
Microsoft’s blog post suggests that the rise of popularity of its devices is a result of its availability on such a wide range of devices, from laptops that cost less than $200 each to the Surface Pro4 Tablet, all of which can all run a full version of Windows in place of the limited Chromebooks. In addition, the company says Windows is easier for IT departments in schools to manage.
Data released from Futuresource show a 20% increase in the use of Windows devices in public schools since 2014. Devices tracked include notebooks, Chromebooks, netbooks and tablets, but does not include desktop PCs.
Mike Fisher, the associate director of education technology at Futuresource claims “Microsoft is the clear global market leader, reaching 47% of the mobile computer K-12 OS market in Q4 of 2015.”
That number includes all versions of Windows. While many could possibly run the new Windows 10 operating system, it was only released in July 2015, meaning that many of the devices probably are running Windows 8.
Part of the lure that draws the education sector toward Windows 10 is in its free built-in antivirus software through Windows Defender and additional login security features including Windows Hello. A separate addition, Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows, offers help to schools in setting up Windows 10 and getting it running. The software bundle offers schools a free online productivity tool that allows teachers and students to set up and manage their devices.
Educators around the world have offered their opinions on Windows 10, with most giving it high marks.
Windows 10 is “the foundation of our innovative practices, allowing for us to extend learning even beyond the classroom,” says English teacher and professor Yaiza Burgoa. “And it is an operating system that is easy to learn, easy to use and easy to build on.”
Schools and the education market continue to be an important sector for tech companies across the world. As Internet use continues to increase, these companies not only generate significant revenue by selling devices directly to schools, but increase their customer base by getting children interested from an early age, writes Matt Weinberger for Business Insider.
As an incentive, Microsoft offers their Office 365 Suite to schools and colleges at no cost. Google does the same with its competing Google Apps. Apple is currently working on updating its iOS software in an effort to produce a more desirable iPad for schools.