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The Big 3's War Over EDU: A Comparison of Apple, Google, and Microsoft

The Big 3's War Over EDU: A Comparison of Apple, Google, and Microsoft

Apple had an event focused on education on March 27, and if anything it clarified Apple's place in the EDU market. With that, I think it's worth taking a look at where each of the three big companies stands in regards to Ed.

Apple

Recommended Device: IPad

Other Possible Devices: MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

Device Management Options: Apple School Manager (Apple Ids), Classroom (classroom management), Third Parties such as AirWatch (overall management)

Device Insurance: 2 year Apple Care

Has a software admin panel: No

Email Service: Does not have one that can be set up in a private domain for schools

LMS Style Tool: School work

Office Suite: Pages, Keynote, Numbers

Does it Support Others: Google And Microsoft apps can be native to the device

Browser: Safari, Chrome, Other 3rd Parties

Native Creation Apps: iMovie (video), Clips (video) GarageBand (Audio)

Coding Curriculum: Swift Coding App

Outside Developers Interest Level: High

  • IPad is a leading creativity tool with access to a camera, creative apps, and everyone can create
  • High developer interest with access to the consumer side of IOS users
  • Easy to connect 3rd party blue tooth devices like coding robots
  • Had both native video and audio creation apps
  • Natively supports all three office suites
  • Easiest access to coding curriculum

Negatives

  • Price
  • Overall Device Management is still cumbersome
  • Insurance is less than others
  • No admin panel
  • No email service
  • Office Suite has the lowest level of adoption

Google

Recommended Device: Partner (Acer, Asus, Samsung, Dell, others) Chromebooks

Other Possible Devices: Chrome Tablets

Device Management Options: All management is done through the Google Admin Panel

Device Insurance: a combination of partner warranty and private insurance

Has a software admin panel: Yes

Email Service: Gmail

LMS Style Tool: Classroom

Office Suite: Docs, Slides, Sheets

Does it Support Others: Microsoft has Chrome Apps, Apple has to be in the browser

Browser: Chrome

Native Creation Apps: Drawing (Interactive Canvas), Sites (Websites)

Coding Curriculum: Google CS First

Outside Developers Interest: Moderate

  • The ease and comfort of Google’s collaboration workflow is better than competitors
  • Email option makes it an option as an email provider
  • Lots of device options through partners
  • Ease of Management: Devices, Apps, and Users are easy to manage from the same tool
  • Developers are developing add-ons, apps, and extensions to add to existing Google products
  • Has native support of Microsoft apps

Negatives

  • Needs internet access to function fully
  • Can be a tough road to connect and use Bluetooth devices such as coding robots
  • Depends on web-based 3rd parties for things like video and audio creation (such as WeVideo and Soundtrap)
  • Finding the best avenue for a task is not always straightforward because of the vast scope and differences between apps, extensions, add-ons, and Android
  • Android experience still needs improvement

Microsoft

Recommended Device: Partner (Acer, Asus, HP,, Dell, others) laptops

Other Possible Devices: Surface Tablets, Surface Laptops

Device Management Options: Third Party Management Software like LanDesk

Device Insurance: a combination of partner warranty and private insurance

Has a software admin panel: Yes for software

Email Service: Outlook

LMS Style Tool: Class Notebook, Teams

Office Suite: Word, PowerPoint, Excel

Does it Support Others: You can Access Both from Browser

Browser: Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Others

Native Creation Apps: Sway (Interactive Canvas)

Coding Curriculum: Minecraft

Outside Developers Interest
: Low

  • Has the office suite with biggest market share and the one that people are used to
  • Uses most complete email client Outlook
  • Lots of device options through partners
  • LMS style platform (Class Notebook) allows work to be done within platform rather than just turned in through the platform

Negatives

  • Developer interest is VERY low. Many tasks will either require expensive software or need to be web-based
  • Can be a tough road to connect and use Bluetooth devices such as coding robots
  • The best avenue for creation is web-based 3rd parties for things like video and audio creation (such as WeVideo and Soundtrap)
  • There is little native innovation as most tools are either purchased or direct copies of another company.
  • The recommended devices (partner laptops) can have wildly different specs
  • The boot time on recommended devices can be slow
  • Lms style platform has a high entry point with a major need for PD
  • The entry point into coding (Minecraft) has a limited scope
  • 365 only had one native creative app (sway)