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Google's Chromebooks embraced by schools, not so much by enterprise

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Schools are showing a keen interest in the affordable offerings from Google and its tech supply partners. Schools purchased at least 1 million Chromebooks last quarter.

One reason, according to a source, is that Google offers school buyers a maintenance warranty package and will replace a Chromebook if it stops working without any additional cost. Support costs are also eliminated with automatic updates of Chrome OS from Google.

Since Microsoft's third-party resellers do not include such a deal for repairs, maintenance and support, Microsoft might have a tough time selling laptops to schools. It is possible it may, for now at least, find better luck in enterprise users who have not latched onto the Chromebook fanaticism.

As more schools implement technology, particularly mobile technology, in an attempt to modernize and digitize learning methods for students (as well as save on textbook, paper and other legacy costs), options like the Chromebook will likely be a popular avenue for districts and school boards to consider.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is reportedly aiming at schools and education systems with its Surface tablets. The company stated that use of tablets in classrooms is a growing trend among schools today.

As one report notes, Google's Chromebook idea didn't immediately catch on with consumers. Analysts argued that people might not buy a laptop only running a browser. However, with Google's apps and other services growing and becoming more useful to mobile users, its affordable laptops have been gaining in popularity.

The report indicates iPads are more popular with students. However, educators will likely purchase a Chromebook or Windows laptop that is more affordable.

Chromebook purchases are gaining in enterprise use, but a number of firms still rely on the Windows platform, which has long been associated with business productivity. One report suggests that Chromebook use by enterprises is being  held back by a few things. Those include dependence on mail clients from Microsoft, lack of support for legacy applications, and company structures that do not lend themselves to productive use of Chromebook laptops.

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