Christopher Dawson has an interesting post on why his school district users are voting for PCs over Macs, a contention that bucks conventional wisdom.
One of Dawson's primary conclusions is that Apple's OS X just looks different and that makes users wary. Some of these folks were used to OS 9 and others prefer PCs.
According to Apple's fiscal 2005 annual report, the education market accounted for 12 percent of sales. And it's turf that Apple wants to defend. Here's what Apple said in its SEC filing:
The Company also faces increased competition in the U.S. education market. U.S. elementary and secondary schools, as well as college and university customers, remain a core market for the Company. Uncertainty in this channel remains as several competitors of the Company have either targeted or announced their intention to target the education market for personal computers, which could negatively affect the Company’s market share. In an effort to regain market share and remain competitive, the Company has been and will continue to pursue one-to-one (1:1) learning solutions in education. 1:1 learning solutions typically consist of iBook portable systems for every student and teacher along with a wireless network connected to a central server. These 1:1 learning solutions and other strategic sales are generally priced more aggressively and could result in significantly less profitability or even in financial losses, particularly for larger deals. Although the Company believes it has taken certain steps to strengthen its position in the education market, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to increase or maintain its share of the education market or execute profitably on large strategic arrangements. Failure to do so may have an adverse impact on the Company’s operating results and financial condition.What could defend Apple's education turf? Boot Camp, which allows you to boot Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac. With one box and two operating systems folks like Dawson could pick and choose and OS for their clients. Educators would still have to ponder whether it made sense from a budget perspective to get a Windows license, but it is an option. Of course, it wouldn't ease the pain for those educators that still love OS 9.