Microsoft’s CVP for Education says Chromebooks are “faster, cheaper … we have our work cut out for us”

Arif Bacchus

Parallels Desktop For Chromebook Enterprise

Microsoft Teams is making gains for Microsoft, hitting over 115 million daily active users thanks to the global pandemic and the need to work and school from home. However, even with those big numbers, and Windows 10X on the horizon, it still seems as though Microsoft is struggling in the education market when compared to its rivals.

This is all according to a new report from Business Insider, which cited an insider who recorded a company-all hands meeting. In that meeting, Microsoft Education CVP Eran Megiddo appeared to be worried about Chromebooks. The executive apparently told employees that Chromebooks are “faster, cheaper,” and “we have our work cut out for us.”

Per the report, Megiddo told employees that more than 100 million students use Teams, which is about 30 million more since the school year started. Great as the number sounds, though, the executive has reason to be concerned.

A Microsoft employee asked Megiddo during the meeting how Microsoft is planning to “court public school systems around the world as Google takes “major market share” in other markets in Asia. Megiddo answered that with schools closed in some countries, Microsoft sees a big opportunity, as governments are seeking to buy devices.

However, it does seem as though Microsoft still has its struggles. He told employees that though many countries roll out both Microsoft and Google software at the same time, it’s up to schools to choose the provider. With that, it is the ease of rolling out Chromebooks that makes it harder for Microsoft to gain on Google.

As our Kip Kniskern argued, despite Team’s growing popularity, the struggles are indeed worth noting. Microsoft does lag behind in the education market when compared to Google. In 2017, Chromebooks and other Google devices made up 58% of all devices purchased for US classrooms. Business Insider also reports that Google had a 60% market share across K-12 schools in the US in 2019. The publication even noted that “more than 140 million students and educators used the G Suite for Education product, and “more than 100 million students and educators worldwide are now active on Google Classroom.”

Megiddo notes that Microsoft has a plan and a “clear roadmap,” but the details weren’t revealed. Instead, he noted that, “we’re making progress relative to the competition.” This definitely will be a topic worth keeping an eye on as Microsoft’s plans with Windows 10X and education become more clear in the next months.