Apple, Microsoft and Google are going back to school

‘Back to school’ used to be such a straightforward affair… get a new pair of shoes, a new notebook and some pencils. Now the big question is whether to buy a tablet, PC, laptop or netbook. To top it off, we’ve got Apple, Microsoft and Google, slugging it out in a bid to become the number 1 student choice for tablet. 

What does that mean for educational publishers? We run through the latest offerings and sum up a case study of Folens, an educational publisher who offer cross platform purchases for students directly from their Website.


Apple is offering a $100 gift card and Apple Education pricing for Mac and iPad purchases. In the UK this translates as £35 to spend on education apps if you buy an iPad and £70 if you buy a Mac. 

The offer for students is compelling, but their marketing efforts have stretched beyond this demographic, and teachers are now aware that their ipad have video mirroring and Airprint features, so with one ipad they can teach an entire classroom.


How is Microsoft faring? Microsoft, according to their @MsUkStudents twitter feed are ‘helping students Dream, Create and Shine using Microsoft technology’. As per last year, Microsoft Student is offering a free Xbox with any new PC incorporating Microsoft Windows. A bold approach towards preparing the market for October’s release, and combined with having a number of global student partners and Microsoft Student Ambassadors, who will be promoting the brand, are well positioned for the big day. (release date for Microsoft Surface is 26th October, just missing the back-to-school rush)


Finally, Google. The Nexus 7 tablet, has only just been launched so, in not so many words, ‘the playground is open’.  What actually fills the playground is yet to be seen but expect a number of keen future developments.  What is clear is that, at £159, and with a number of sparkling reviews, the Nexus 7 offers students immense value.

A case study 

So what does this mean for your publishing plans? Ensure your content is available across all platforms. Folens, a leading Irish educational publisher, who reach 60% of Irish school students, seem to have cracked it. Content bought on their Website can be delivered to the cross-platform student apps, or accessed via the browser. Their content has been digitised using YUDU technology, which creates multi-platform apps in Adobe Air, wrapped in their native code. That means that as soon as a new device hits the street, the content can be reworked simply for the necessary platform. Read through the case study here