Google now says that more than 500 districts in the U.S. and Europe actively use Chromebooks to aid in classroom learning. In one particular case, Leyden High School District in Illinois is in the process of providing Chromebooks to its more than 3,500 students.
All of which is to say, if the war between Apple and Google hadn't yet reached a fever pitch, it's about to. Education has long been one of the Mac maker's vertical market strongholds.
Apple's response needs to be swift and decisive, for Google is doing all it can to make Web-based computing more useful for students. At this week's International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, the search king introduced new grade-specific application packs and enhanced controls for helping administrators curate a selection of apps for their school's specific needs. Think of it as mass customization delivered to every Chromebook at the click of a button.
"While the Web was developed well before today's students were born, it's come a long way even since a year ago," product manager Vidya Nagarajan wrote in a blog post. "Today you can access the Web on any device, use the Web offline, and take advantage of amazing graphics. For example, you can get a powerful graphing calculator on the Web today, for free."
"Any device" as in: You don't need a Mac.
Google's right. Our children attend a school that depends on a free edition of its Apps suite. The hitch? Our eldest, like his father, is addicted to Mac gear. He's perfectly happy using Google's Web apps with his collection of iDevices, most of which he's bought with his own money.
The big losers here are Adobe
Cloudy with a chance of billions
It's no secret that Fool co-founder David Gardner was an early believer in the cloud computing movement that today is revolutionizing not just education but also business. Thousands of Motley Fool Rule Breakers members have profited as a result. Want his next Big Idea? See which stock David believes is the next Rule Breaking multibagger. The report is 100% free but only for a limited time.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Adobe Systems, Microsoft, and Apple, creating a diagonal call position in Adobe Systems, and creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.