While Google’s Chromebook still leads in the education market in the United States, Microsoft is gaining ground internationally. Consultancy and research firm Futuresource Consulting found that in the third quarter the demand for Microsoft’s operating system and education notebooks was rising due to the fact that technology use in the classroom was becoming prevalent.
According to Futuresource Consulting the education market for the mobile personal computer grew by 26% across the globe and the operating system developed by Microsoft was the dominant one. In particular deals in emerging markets contributed to the growth of Microsoft’s market share around the world.
Though Google has a commanding lead in the education market in the United States, the market is showing signs of reaching maturity. For the past couple of years growth in the mobile personal computer education market has been in the double digits but this year’s third quarter saw a growth rate of 3.5% compared to the same period last year. In the entire 2017 fiscal year Futuresource projects the growth rate will average 9% compared to 2016’s rate of 19%.
It is also expected that the mobile PC penetration will reach a level of 50% before the end of this year. This implies that future sales will mostly be replacement sales and likely lead to fierce competition between Apple, Microsoft and Google. Seven months ago Microsoft launched the Windows 10S OS and a new Surface computer which are aimed at the education market. Windows 10S OS is targeting the same market segment as the Chrome operating system – Google’s OS which powers cheap bare-bones Chromebook computers.
Growing market share
Despite Google’s lead in the U.S. education market, signs indicate that its rate of growth is slowing just when Microsoft is increasing its market share. The test of whether Google will keep its lead will come when educators decide whether the Chromebooks which were sold three years ago, and which require an upgrade, will be replaced with Google’s products or from its rivals.
“…challenge now for Microsoft will be how to accelerate this trend in 2018. The majority of market demand is expected to be replacement demand; convincing existing Chrome users to completely change the existing ecosystem will likely not be easy,” wrote Futuresource Consulting’s associate director, Mike Fisher, in a market research report.
Microsoft’s increasing market share in the education coincides with a report indicating that in the gaming console market, the software giant is losing out to Sony. This is despite Microsoft release a new Xbox this year.