updated 05:20 pm EDT, Fri October 5, 2007
OS X vs Windows in schools
Despite Apple's lower overall market share in U.S. schools, many educational institutions are reporting steep increases in Mac usage that in some cases overshadow their total number of Windows users. DailyPrincetonian.com reports that just 10 percent of Princeton students had Macs in the 2003-2004 school year, but that Mac-toting students since then have rocketed up to a whopping 60 percent this year. Princeton isn't alone in its speedy rise of Mac usage, as numerous other well-known schools continue to report ballooning numbers of Macs each year. Approximately one quarter of St. Olaf students owned a Mac as of last year, and predictions from officials there point to a 5-10 percent increase this year alone. Mac sales also increased significantly at MIT, Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, Duke, Stanford, Cornell, and Brown over the past few years, according to DailyPrincetonian.com.
The shift in the education sector could be a sign of things yet to come, assuming Apple stays its current course. The Cupertino-based company is scheduled to ship Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard later this month, which will include a full final version of Boot Camp -- its simple operating system selection software that allows owners of Intel-based Macs to install and run, at full speed, Microsoft Windows directly on their Mac. Apple's forthcoming release of Mac OS X Leopard combined with a mixed response to Microsoft's Windows Vista could turn the tide even further, resulting in many more Macs on the desks of busy students from California to New York.