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Alice Keeler via Flickr CC

In 2013 Chromebooks became the fastest-growing segment of the PC market as it started expanding its sales in school districts. By fall of 2014 Chromebooks shot ahead of iPad shipments for educational purposes, and last year, Chromebooks outsold Mac OS devices in the market despite expectations for it to fail from the outset.

Why Chromebook's getting ahead: It's not just about price. One of the big appeals is each student can log into any Chromebook and as soon as they log out another student can use it. They are also easy to manage, have no software to install, and update automatically — schools typically have little to no IT support, so the full hardware solution Chromebooks offer is key.

Why it matters: Apple and Microsoft have taken note, and may be trying to catch up, per TechCrunch. The opportunity to expose first-time computer users in K-12 spaces to your product and turn them into lifelong users is too good to pass up.

  • Microsoft already supports tablets and laptops that compete on price with Chromebooks but has struggled on these other fronts. Windows 10 cloud, expected to be announced next week at a NY event, could help with that.
  • Apple has always had education at the center of its operations, and now some of its decision making appears to be influenced by Chromebook's rise to success. They're now offering Classroom alongside iOS 9.3, which brings a similar easy log-in system for multiple students and gives teachers an overview of accounts being used at one time. And Apple cut its prices to fall in line with Chromebooks, around $300 a pop.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.