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

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.