Back in the mid 80s, you may have seen a classroom full of Apple IIe or IIgs machines, maybe a Mac Plus or two. According to an article by Charles Haddad at BusinessWeek, youid be more likely to see a room full of drab, beige PCs today. Worse yet, he says that Apple has forever lost the battle for the classroom, and that the "lemming effect" will keep those classes moving to Windows. This, despite a recent uptick in education sales for the company.
According to the article, parents are demanding that children have access to the same computers at school that they use at home, which is usually a Windows-based PC. Despite generally Mac-loving teachers crying foul, many schools are consolidating on a Windows-PC-only network. From BusinessWeek:
Mom and dad have spoken, and what they say is this: Why should my child work on a Mac in class when most people use PCs at home and in the office? Iive heard this lament time and again in my sonis schools over the years. To listen to these parents, youid think the schools were forcing children to use a history book that says the world is flat.
Such complaints speak loudly to Appleis (AAPL) fall from grace in education. Oh, sure, itis O.K. for parents to think different -- as long as itis the same different as everyone else. Now, Appleis real battle to regain lost market share in education is about behavior, not pricing.
Today, PCs have little price advantage over Macs. Appleis eMac, designed as a low-cost model for school systems, costs $50 more, at most, than a comparable low-end PC. Big deal. Several independent studies have shown that a network of Macs is still the least expensive to run and maintain. And Macs remain nothing if not durable. Here and there youill still find an original Mac -- not to mention a few Apple IIs -- hard at work in classrooms.
You can read the full article at BusinessWeekis Web site.