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Microsoft And Apple Target Schools In War With Chromebook ( 143

An anonymous reader writes: "Google [is] commanding 58% of U.S. K-12 schools. Windows is in second with around 22% and the combined impact of MacOS and iOS are close behind at 19%," reports TechCrunch, citing figures from consulting firm Futuresource. But now Chromebooks are under fire from cheaper iPads and Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 Cloud laptop with its cloud-based software. "For many schools, the dream of a one-device-per-child experience has finally been realized through a consumer technology battle waged by the biggest names in the industry... Fostering an entire generation of first-time computer users with your software and device ecosystem could mean developing lifelong loyalties, which is precisely why all this knock-down, drag-out fight won't be drawing to a close any time soon." That raises an interesting question. Do Slashdot readers remember the computers that were used in their own high schools -- and did that instill any lifelong brand loyalty?
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Microsoft And Apple Target Schools In War With Chromebook

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  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @01:47PM (#54329673)
    The girls in the seventh grade thought I came from a "poor" family because we didn't have cable to watch MTV and we didn't own an Apple ][ computer. I hated the Apple ][ with a passion. Before the Apple ][, were just kids. After the Apple ][, we were kids with socioeconomic markers. Being the proverbial fat kid in school, I had all the wrong kinds of socioeconomic markers.
    • Well, given the 8-bit computer prices, maybe you were?
  • That raises an interesting question. Do Slashdot readers remember the computers that were used in their own high schools -- and did that instill any lifelong brand loyalty?

    I remember the first digital computing aid I had in my elementary school. I still have it and I carry it everywhere. I have grown quite attached to it, over the years. It was more than a computing aid. It had lot more uses and in fact serving as a computing aid was just an after thought. It was a truly digital system, 5 on the left palm and 5 on the right. And, yes, I do have great loyalty to it.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @01:52PM (#54329707)

    Do Slashdot readers remember the computers that were used in their own high schools -- and did that instill any lifelong brand loyalty?

    We didn't have computers in our high schools.

    Now get off my lawn!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I concur. I too, did not have a computer to work on in High School. My "first computer" was a DEC mainframe for my freshman college Fortran programming class. Which made Fortran my first programming language. Ugh!

      another GreyBeard

    • I used an abacus in high school.

  • Typing this on a RM 380Z. [].

  • device per child a single terminal with 10 in monitor and keyboard using "gasp" CASSETTE TAPES to store data sitting on a cart wheeled from room to room, then no, not loyalty to that brand at all. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who had an Apple II in your school, or even more than one, again on wheeled carts that moved from classroom to classroom.

    School districts are so strapped for cash now whatever is cheapest is what they get. One device per student is a nice idea, provided the business you're cont

  • I should be a diehard Trash 80 and apple ][ fan. Linux so don't think the plan worked.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Brand loyalty, hmm, really pushing my brain hard but at a guess, 'Faber Castell', rings a bell as my sliderule brand and yes we also learned how to use an abacus but we did not carry one, the only electronics were not so compact pocket calculator possibly Sony. I used a Sharp pocket calculator so much at work I wore off the =.

      Reality is the iPad does not belong in schools tablets are just for consuming content and not creating it, a full notebook is required and open source has got that locked either as Ch

  • by Anonymous Coward

    and ASR33 at school.

    • by timelorde ( 7880 )

      Hey, me too! Fairfax county, Virginia.

      That was my second one. The first was made by Wang...

      (not a joke)

  • Ah high school (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PuddleBoy ( 544111 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @02:17PM (#54329827)

    Personal computers came after my high school days, but I do remember;

    a teacher bringing in an abacus for us to use
    most of the top-achieving students were pretty fast with a slide rule (still have mine somewhere....)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, still have a slide rule or two. K+E (Keuffel and Esser). It's too bad that slide rules are not used anymore. A slide rule makes you actually think about what you are trying to do, and teaches the relationships between numbers and their magnitudes. And concepts like logarithms naturally follow from its use. On the other hand, a TI-35 calculator will teach you to be a good data entry clerk.

  • My school had a room full of Commodore PETs with cassette tape drives to load space invaders from. We were also given access to the nearby university's mainframe with teletype terminals with rolls of paper. These of course printed out your username and password, which was then safely disposed of in the bin next to each terminal. That was the new mainframe. In the next room were the terminals for the punch cards for the old one. Loyalty? Not so much.......
    • by Espen ( 96293 )

      We had a similar setup with a *disk drive* but apparently it didn't have a proper built-in shared access manager because we had to raise our hands and ask for teacher's permission to load and save from it, otherwise it would flake out badly.

  • Pre-PC/Mac era (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreatDrok ( 684119 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @02:44PM (#54329935) Journal

    Brand loyalty is a tricky one when all the companies that made computers when I was at school are gone. What I did learn from exposure to primitive 8 bit machines was variety and flexibility which took me into software development. Later when Macs and PCs hit schools, the level of interest kids had in programming or even understanding computers dropped so we ended up with a generation of kids who couldn't do much more than type up a letter in MS Word compared with my generation which were writing hand coded assembly and building robots. Thank goodness Linus came along with his kernel and we were able to have a real OS on cheap PC hardware and that has given me a solid career so if there's any brand loyalty it is to Linux. While I use a Mac today (best tool for the job when dealing with a mixed environment) I'm a Linux admin and programmer by profession. The fight by these companies to control the market is bad, we need a mixture and devices like the Raspberry Pi are what we should be using to get kids hooked. Typing up letters and doing spreadsheets is not computing but seems to be all the schools are prepared to teach.

    • Later when Macs and PCs hit schools, the level of interest kids had in programming or even understanding computers dropped so we ended up with a generation of kids who couldn't do much more than type up a letter in MS Word compared with my generation which were writing hand coded assembly and building robots....Typing up letters and doing spreadsheets is not computing but seems to be all the schools are prepared to teach.

      I think you've struck on a set of symptoms of an underlying problem. Like most Slashdotters, you were largely self-taught. Exposure to the 8-bit machines gave you a starting point, and you took the initiative from there.

      I'd argue that we've ended up with two generations of kids who only know cursory word processing and web browsing skills. Would they have been apt to code if the only available computer to use required assembler? I doubt a statistically relevant number of them would have, at least not withou

  • In my high school physics class, everyone was required to bring their own slide rule. I still have it. Can't say it inspired any loyalty, tho.
  • No pun intended.

    Google isn't pushing the Chromebook, they're pushing Chrome and Google services -- the entire cloud experience. The Chromebook just makes it brain-dead simple for schools.

    I think Google would be just as happy with Apple or Microsoft computer in there, as long as they were loaded with Chrome.

  • It is hard to be loyal to a brand that is gone. Our schools had one apple II in the library, and a lab full of Commodore machines. I had a trs-80 color computer, and a Sinclair zx-81 at home. I don't and won't use a apple anything, and the others are all gone. It is pretty much an intel with whatever flavor of Linux serves the purpose and my windows 10 laptop for work. They all do the tasks they are designed for.

  • ... and let me know how it works out for you.

    I remember MS-DOS, and Windows 3.1 being the in thing when I got into computers. At my first job, MS Visual Studio was a very nice IDE.

    At my first job I also learned how sticking to the ANSI-C specification helped our code run on multiple platforms. Combined with the make utility (with small variations between platforms) we got as close to producing cross-platform code as one could wish in the pre-Java days.

    I guess my love for Windows waned slowly but surely a

  • This is terrible. Only free software should be used at schools.

    • Both offerings can run FOSS, straight up.

      Apple: Install bootcamp, then install Linux

      Chromebook: Install MrChromebox, then install GalliumOS (a fork of xubuntu for chromebooks)

      Apple gives you more choices, because it offers more standard hardware, and has a real HDD, but chromebook has ASTOUNDING battery life, and is very cheap. (Sticking a really big microSD card in, and mounting it as /home with TRIM enabled can get a lot of mileage out of the otherwise space constrained chromebook ecosystem, which is what

      • Re:free software (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 30, 2017 @07:33PM (#54330981)

        The value in Chromebooks isn't ChromeOS, but the Google services. Once a school is using them a student can login to any Chromebook (or Chrome on a computer at home, or Google apps on iOS/Android) and have all their stuff right there.

        Freedom of the OS running on the hardware isn't the problem, it's the freedom of the backend. Google is about to run away with the market because their backend offering is so much cheaper and so much more compelling. Apple have nothing that compares, and Microsoft's server/domain model seems ancient in comparison.

        • Microsoft will suffer in this market from the affliction of "not making enough money", Microsoft for a decade or more exploited the educational market for vast sums of money, the loss of that revenue is painful so their solution will be to try to match the Google model while charging just as much as they did. They will inevitably fail.

  • Seriously, pencil in the cards and wait two days for a print out to see how your program ran. All that instilled in me was a hatred for off-site card based programming.

    I know it is difficult to give up the educational space, but I can't see how Microsoft has a chance. Based on previous posts, I'll know I'll get hammered by Microsoft fanboys/employees (who post as AC) who feel that Win 10 is competitive against ChromeOS, but it really isn't.

    ChromeOS works very well, has a good ecosystem and has many differ

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @03:13PM (#54330043) Homepage Journal

    We had a lot of odd minicomputers in my high school, but the one I used most in school was a Digital Equipment PDP-8. You loaded the bootstrap from a paper tape reader, and you loaded the paper tape reader program by switches on the front panel which allowed you to set memory address contents word by word and set the program counter to a particular octal address. Input/output was through a teletype that printed on a roll of paper.

    I have to say that this primitive hardware was as satisfying in its way to work on as the latest core i7 laptop I'm writing this on -- despite the actual core memory's unreliability in our building which was next to a busy subway track. I suppose I did have positive feelings toward DEC, until I got to college and worked in a lab that stored its research data on RK05 disc packs.

    In my experience -- which as you can probably tell is by now extensive -- there are two kinds of people, those that adapt readily to new stuff, and those who stubbornly stick with whatever they already know. And as you look at successively older cohorts, the greater the proportion of stick-what-you-knowers there will be.

    So the idea that you'll imprint *kids* on your technology is dubious. Yes you will imprint them, but it won't prevent them from switching to something else.

  • When I got to college I was able to sneak into a lab and use an ASR33 teletype on the Telex network to remotely log on to Dartmouth to use BASIC.

    At my own school it was cards in a window, come back later for the printed output. And you'd better have an account that paid for it.

    Didn't really get to 'cut my hacker teeth' until my sophomore year, when some oddball ins-and-outs of contract financing left me with a student job where I had, a couple times a day, the remainder of a one-hour time slot with my work

  • Most of my school days we had Apple ][ in my classroom or computer lab since the fourth grade. It didn't matter much because no one knew how to use the stupid things and couldn't answer the simplest question, like "Where are the manuals?" for example. With the exception of one night a week after school we were also forbidden to touch them in school. I eventually got a PC at home and never looked back, so out of 7 years of K-12 access to an Apple ][, I have absolutely no brand loyalty to Apple but neither d
  • want to lock you in in their software/services.
    The smart thing to do would be to use open data formats so that your data is not hold ransom by one corporation. Alas, most non-techy people seem to ignore, or not care, about this.
  • Microsoft And Apple Target Schools More Ad Revenue In War With Chromebook

    None of them are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

  • It was an HP 2000 series that used punched tape. I think it was a model 2114.
  • Reality is Apple and Microsoft have always targeted schools , both have lost a significant share of k-12. ChromeOS model is just better for k-12 where the users work isn't connected to individual laptop, kids just destroy things just like the Chromebook commercials. []

  • I still want an 1130 with Hollerith cards and line printer...
  • Computers? We actually had hand cranked calculators (reallly, I'm not kidding), and there was an attempt to build a computer out of discrete components.
    In my later school years, I went to a local technical college, where they had ... tada.. an IBM 1130 with 4096 words of memory (yes, words, 16 bit words, none of these new fangled bytes for us), a card reader, and (intake of breath) a 5kb hard disc. We programmed it in Fortran, on punched cards. I eventually got it playing the worlds worst chess, and thence

  • Do Slashdot readers remember the computers that were used in their own high schools -- and did that instill any lifelong brand loyalty?

    With today's few wallen gardens and social networks, this more about network effects than loyalty. In the eighties, most computer brands were incompatible with each others, but they were not the key to online social life.

  • My high school combined with 36 other schools to time share a PDP8-E. Connection was via an unbelievably fast hard-wired 110 baud data line. We had one online TTY model 33 and one offline 33. You wrote your programs on the offline 33 by directly punching them to paper tape, backspaces corrections and all, then loaded them on the online 33 when you have your turn. Once you were done editing and debugging the program you once again punched it out of paper tape.

    How do I have brand loyalty for DEC and Teletype

  • I don't see it becoming a loyalty to the Operating System (OS)

    It's going to be more about the Office Suite and other tools used in school.

    For many, MS Office was introduced in school. Decision makers chose it for the their offices. It is that brand loyalty that has stuck until today. Now the younger generation are using Google Docs on Chromebooks as well as other available editing tools often outside of what we have come to know as the common suites. As soon as someone says, "Hey, I don't need the P
  • Times have changed. People want to do tasks now. They don't give a shit what platform it happens to be using.

    Web browsing, email, composing school or work documents, even editing pictures are all platform-agnostic.

    Apple and Microsoft inevitably bring their own product ideas to these tasks when it's just not needed. Maybe 20 years ago, yes. But not any more. And Chromebooks get it. The thing only does a few tasks, but they happen to be what 99% of people need. And they do it cheaply and with relativ

  • I started on Apple 2's in elementary school and then my dad got a Windows 3.1 computer at home which I used for about the same amount of time year over year. The only thing I did on either machine was play games, some of which had educational merit. The first time I used a computer for educational purposes was in middle school and those were Windows 95. In HS we only had Windows 98 machines. In college we used Ubuntu or Redhat linux exclusively, so I switched to using it on my own computers except when I pl

  • My high school had a Honeywell mainframe. (1970s)
  • I learned to program Apple Basic on an Apple IIe when I was in the 6th grade. My family's first computer was the 128 Mac. We had no brand loyalty -- my father simply recognized it was a paradigm shift and he didn't want his kids to be left behind. So my senior year of high school, I programmed Apple Basic in class and typed up papers in MacWrite. In college I was exposed to NeXT, Sun Solaris, and DOS, and became manager of a Mac/PC computer lab. Our Dells and Compaqs were complete pieces of shit compared to

  • Do Slashdot readers remember the computers that were used in their own high schools

    TRS-80's, where I first learned programming. I built a cheap-ass & slow Space Invaders clone.

  • Most of the machines I used in my youth are relegated to the trash heap of computer history.
    My first home computer was a Commodore VIC-20, followed by a C64, a C128, and brief flirtation with an Adam, then an Amiga. Eventually I went to Windows 95. Now I use a Mac.
    In high school we used TRS-80's. I was already a seasoned BASIC programmer by that time, and the teacher let me do whatever I wanted.
    Brand loyalty? That's funny...
  • We had DOS at my high school. Upon joining college I was introduced to C-shell on a UNIX terminal. For many years to come I could not comprehend how did the invisible hand of the market could fail us so badly, with the shitty and crashy OS being the monopoly.
  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @08:49AM (#54332937)

    No malware, easy to use. Generic browser interface. They're cheap and reliable ideal for computers.

    Apple are overpriced, have a User Interface almost no-one will use once they hit the corporate environment, people may have them for their home PCs, but few at work. They do have the advantage of fewer viruses. (yeah, I know if you're doing art stuff, and wearing sunglasses indoors, you may use a Mac in your office- but I'm talking about the majority of people).

    Microsoft products would be a midlevel price and a User Interface worth learning from the standpoint, they will probably be using MS for most of their careers. The problem is, Microsoft gets expensive with maintenance and preventing the kids doing stupid things and downloading viruses.

    For kids and schools, Chromebook just make way more sense.

  • When I was in high school, just before being thrown out of math class, the teacher brought in a calculator. It was about the size of an electric typewriter and was programmable (!) by using punched cards. I don't remember the brand. My first contact with computers was the ZX Spectrum my sister in law sold. I became an Apple salesman in the late '80s and my home computer was an Atari 520Stf.

    I am not brand loyal, I am function loyal - I always choose the best tool for the job at hand. Since about 1997 that ha

  • I graduated in '60's. The only computer we had in HS were Slide Rules.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.