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Can Google Make A Difference In The Education Market?

July 18, 2014 | About:

The craze for go-to computer devices in education has been increasing in the past few years. And with this lingering craze, competition among companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), who have targeted the education sector for improving their revenue, has become more prominent.

According to Futuresource Consulting in a Wall Street Journal release, Chromebook of Google was quite unpopular in 2012 with market share of only 1%, but its market share has increased to around 19% by end of 2013. Such an improvement in sales does raise a lot of eyebrows and the time is apt to dig deeper and find out how Google is creating its own space in the education sector amid intense competition. Let’s stayed tuned to find out.

The Mind-Boggling Figures Confirm the Growth

The study conducted by Futuresource Consulting throws light on the plummeting sales of Apple and Microsoft Windows almost within a year of the Chromebook launch by Google. Eye-popping information has been shared as far as Microsoft Windows market share is concerned, which has shown a steep decline to 28% in 2013 third quarter from 47.5% held in the similar quarter a year ago.

Also, as per IDC, Microsoft’s sales share in schools and colleges fell to 43% in the third quarter of 2013 from 77% back in 2010. Similarly, Apple’s Mac computers’ purchase in educational institutions has shown a downtrend in the first three quarters of 2013 to 15% from 17% in 2012. Though this loss of market share is not so worrisome for Apple, it does raise an alarm for the company as Google might eat into its share sooner than expected if the Chromebook is able to initiate further appeal.

Why Google’s Chromebook

Chromebooks have won market share faster than expected because they are cheaper. Chromebooks were designed to run Google software through the Web application instead of using programs installed on the system. The first models had prices of around $300, but some laptop like models have reduced their sticker price to around $200. In comparison, Apple’s cheapest laptop is the $899 MacBook Air. Also Microsoft offers laptops for the academic sector at prices competitive to Apple’s, but not as low as $200 for a Chromebook.

Until the other tech giants make any ultimate move, the price tag of Google’s Chromebook will keep enticing school systems that would like to go for better machines at reasonable prices -- thus, till then, Google Chromebook will remain their right fit.

Other relevant features to fight rivals

To put it in the words of Phil Maddocks, Marketing analyst at Futuresource Consulting – “Chromebooks present a number of benefits to the education market which goes further than just offering cheap hardware.” He emphasized that besides providing the price advantage, the Chromebook also allows cost savings as it is based on cloud technology. As the content development apps are run on the cloud this enables cost savings on both managing and setting up the device.

Setup time for Google Chromebook is around 30 seconds per device versus 30 minutes for a cheap laptop running Microsft Windows. In schools that purchase such machines in bulk, the time taken for the initial setup is of prime importance, and clearly Chromebook wins in this regard as well when compared with its immediate rivals.

Final Word

Looking ahead of 2014, uptake of Chromebooks is likely to see a significant increase over traditional PCs with Samsung, HP, Acer, Dell, Lenevo and Toshiba hoping to manufacture their own lost cost Chromebook devices within a few years. This will intensify the competition further with established names entering this market. Till then, Google’s market share is bound to keep increasing as it has solid strategies in place to win over the market.

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