Windows is gaining on iOS in the education market

Sales of Windows notebooks and tablets is growing in the US and international education markets, but Chromebook shipments are still strong and growing in the US.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft Windows is making gains in the K-12 education market in both the US and the rest of the world according to new numbers from Futuresource Consulting.

Credit: Futuresource

In the US, Microsoft's gains are coming mainly at Apple's expense, not Google's. According to Futuresource's data for Q3 2017, shipments of mobile devices (notebook, Chromebook, tablet) running Windows in the K-12 space was 22.3 percent of the total market, up from 18.4 percent in Q2 2017.

Futuresource's data includes K-12 institutional purchases only, not "bring your own" devices. And the firm measures shipments, not installed base.

During that same period, iOS device shipments dropped to 12.3 percent from 18.4 percent, and mac OS device shipments from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent. Chrome OS (Chromebook) device shipments continued to grow, hitting 59.8 percent of the US market, up from 57.8 percent.

Windows' growth here isn't just on cheaper PCs. Microsoft officials said Windows devices' growth in the US education market was 4.3 percent for devices under $300 and 8.2 percent for devices over $300 over the past year.

In the rest of the world, Windows continued to be the dominant education platform with 66.5 percent of device shipments to the education market in Q3 2017, up from 57.1 percent in Q2 2017. Chromebook shipments, comparatively, dropped to 14.4 percent from 24.4 percent. Apple's iOS device shipments also dropped to 6.1 percent, from 8.3 percent between Q2 and Q3 2017.

Microsoft has been increasing its focus in the education space for the past couple of years, emphasizing its OneNote and Minecraft offerings. Microsoft also has made a concerted effort to try to make Windows easier for schools to deploy and manage, and has begun marketing with some of its PC maker partners Windows 10 S devices to educators and students.

As Futuresource notes, many of the Chromebooks initially deployed in 2014/2015 will be due for replacement in 2018. Futuresource also notes that 90 percent of Chromebook global sales remain in the US, though international sales for the devices are growing in Northern Europe and some other areas.


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