Apple, Google, and Microsoft know the importance of the education market and are fighting to become the go-to PC for the next generation.
Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromebook sales have increased in the third quarter of 2020 at a much faster rate than other PC on the market. Remote schooling was a major contributing factor to Google’s success as schools across the U.S held Chromebook pickup events for students, with many parents buying their own Google laptops too. Technology research company IDC confirmed that around 9 million devices running Google Chrome OS operating system were sold in the third quarter of this year. In the company’s first-quarter, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai stated ‘we have seen a massive increase in demand for Chromebooks.’
Chromebook sales have increased 90% from the year prior, far surpassing the 15% average growth rate for all PCs in 2020, and made up 11% of total PC sales in Q3 this year. Google has taken over the educational computer market partly because Chromebooks are more affordable than other popular PCs available. The seamless integration between Chromebooks and Google Classroom, a free Google web-based organization program teachers are using, has been another great selling factor. The devices are also being used in the corporate world; last month, ‘Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise’, was launched, the world’s first software that allows Windows to run directly on Chromebooks without a WiFi connection.
What about the competition?
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows’ continues to be the dominant PC operating system, but Chromebooks could become a close contender if the pandemic continues to influence users to become even more accustomed to Chrome OS and other handy tools, like Google Docs. In terms of software, durability, and application capability, Chromebooks are still lagging behind technology titans Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Microsoft computers. The web-browser experience on Chrome OS is very different from Mac and Windows versions plus if you’re big into photo and video editing, a Chromebook may not be the right choice as the graphic performance is lacking. Chromebook’s are perfect for users who want a cheaper model that can simply browse the web, email, and stream videos.
A Microsoft computer is suitable for buyers who require specific programs, like Microsoft Office, and need to work collaboratively with other Windows users. MacBooks and Mac desktops are best for those that require a powerful, user-friendly PC that has a high-quality screen. For fans of Mac and Window’s operating systems, the Chromebook may seem like little more than a laptop that runs a website browser. However, almost everything can now be done on the web, including software applications. Mac and Windows laptops may support lots of other software applications, but Chromebooks can run Window’s applications with the use of VMware and support Linux software. Newer models can also run Android apps.
Google’s Chromebook successes in the education sphere appear to have annoyed Apple. So much so that back in September of this year, Apple dismissed its competitor at a product launch, stating that the latest iPad was: ‘6x faster than the top-selling Chromebook.’ Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Apple explained that Chromebooks have become popular in the classroom because they are cheap testing tools and that if ‘all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.’ Apple enjoyed the boom in remote learning too as iPads and Mac sales soared this quarter with revenue reaching $9 billion.
Microsoft definitely seems worried about Google’s take over of the educational computing market too, as it has invested $1 million in British-owned startup Kano. The tech company, which teaches children to code, hopes its deal with Microsoft will help it compete with Google in the billion-dollar education technology industry. The investment sees Kano join larger IT players Lenovo and Dell in obtaining equipment licensing from Microsoft.
The Ed-Tech Battle
The global education technology and smart classroom market size is expected to grow from $85,818 billion this year to $181,265 billion by 2025, meaning there is a huge amount of money still to be made. The pandemic has uprooted every part of our lives, the greatest change has been to the structure of the way we work and learn. Remote schooling and working are set to continue, either partially or completely for different individuals, as we transform into a mobile population. Will Microsoft, Apple, or Google become the ultimate force in the computer market?
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