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Big Tech targets the education market

Child using ipad to learn
Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Education and technology were the central topics yesterday for Apple, Google and Microsoft, as they prepped for BETT, a key education trade show in London.

Be smart: Schools are a key market both because of the large numbers of devices sold and because they help create brand preferences in a new generation of consumers.

  • Microsoft announced a new Classroom Pen stylus for its Surface convertible tablets and debuted a bunch of new low-cost education-themed Windows laptops designed to compete with Google-powered Chromebooks. The company also has some really cool tactile blocks that help kids who are blind learn to code.
  • Google said that 30 million students and educators use Chromebooks, while 40 million use Google's Classroom software. Acer also introduced new Chromebooks.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook, meanwhile, gave an interview to Germany's Bild about the importance of education, both broadly and in his own life. "I was born in a very rural lower middle class environment," Cook said, per a translation. "I loved it and it’s great for me but the thing that enabled me to do other things and to be at Apple today is education."

Go deeper: Health is Apple's next really big thing