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Mac users quadruple on Princeton campus

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. 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

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. dennisobell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a correction

    Good, it's about time -- a reversal of a 10-year collegaite trend toward Windows that I hope will come to be seen as a historical aberration.

    From the early '80s through the creation of Windown 95, Apple owned the campus market. Then (like everything else about Apple in the mid-late '90s), they screwed the pooch and lost one of their most loyal constituencies. It feels like now, in the late '00s, it's coming back to Apple, and the '95-'05/06 period will look like a fluke.

    I know Apple's market share will long be a minority, given the penetration of Windows in businesses; but the education market should be a gimme for them.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dudes with money...

    Do the students at Princeton have more money than the typical students at other colleges? If they do, maybe that's why more Macs are being sold there. Students on limited budgets would probably go for less expensive non-Mac computers. I'd go for a Mac since it can run both OSX and Windows. But when I was ready for college my parents would have got me something cheap since they would be more interesting in saving money.

  1. zaghahzag

    Joined: Dec 1969


    at cornell

    At cornell, its the same thing.. it's hard to find a PC anymore. Well, ok, not quite, but it's at least 50% macs now.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Look to see demographic

    As we see college students changing the trend, look to see them as working adults and then parents (with children) having more macs too. I've been to a lot of state university campuses, and they always seem to have the highest concentration of Macs, esp. portables, when it comes to usage in public places.

    Now it's just a question of getting employers to go along with employee preferences. I myself graduated in May and all but one machine in our large company is an IBM. The one being a G4 tower our one full-time rendering guy used for his work. Of course, my Powerbook goes with me for my personal use, so you can count another. Still though, it is going to be quite hard to get large companies to rethink their network preferences, thanks to software needs and IT departments' MS only training. Our company is locked into the Autodesk (MS of the CAD world for you laymen) system, which only writes for PC. There have been hopes that Autodesk would support Mac now that they use Intel procs, but any verification rumors have yet to be seen.

    Then there are the older employees to consider. I'd say the place where I work (which employs hundreds of people, easily) has a ration of around 50% 40-55, 20% 56+, 15% 30-39, and 5% 22-29. Not to say this is normal, (actually a little skewed) but it goes to show that there are still a lot of people who are barely able to use the computer and one central appllication, much less understand enough to be able to hop on an entirely new OS. Then don't forget, these people are the first to complain when something doesn't work the way they're used to and get nostalgic about the way it used to be. I see this just with a difference between ppl use to using AutoCAD 14 (yes, that is still around) and the rest using ADT 2007. These types of people are slow to learn, quick to experiment, and even quicker to give up and ask to be led by the hand. I wouldn't see an easy transition, esp. if they are predisposed to dislike Macs (I know plenty of those too).

    Mac usage as a rising demographic is a definitely possibility, but I've got to figure it's going to be a personal use majority, until we get IT and purchasing agents to wise up.

    Your thoughts?

  1. coldfusion1970

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I wish we had Macs at skool when i was a nipper.

    But we had Lynx computers and the old BBC computer (yes made by the BBC TV company) :-(

  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old skool

    I wish we had COMPUTERS at school when I was a nipper. Whippersnappers. You don't remember a time when only colleges had computers, and those were mainframes and minis hooked up to monochrome, text-only dumb terminals, sometimes not even video terminals but printers, so you could only play Star or Dungeo while generating reams of printouts. None of this broadband in the dorm rooms they have today.

  1. macbones

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old old skool

    I wish we had ballpoint pens when I was a nipper. Ink wells were such a pain.

  1. skew

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old old old skool

    Ink wells? You didn't know you were born laddy. When I were a nipper we had to get up half an hour before we went to bed, eat a breakfast of broken glass and those of us that were lucky enough to go to school had to write their work in blood from their own fingers. Those that were lucky enough to have fingers. And blood.

  1. misterdna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old old old old cave

    me write with burnt stick on cave wall.

    but me think college students using macs means they will be longtime mac users, as will their offspring, which will help boost the overall mac segment. yabadabadoo.

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