Apple-Microsoft Education Battle: District Picks Windows-Based Tablet Over iPad

iPad 2 2011 Apple

Is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) pushing back at Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent education market success? After the Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced it was awarding a $30 million contract to Apple to provide its students with iPads, Microsoft soon revealed its own educational tablet plans.

Several days after Apple’s major iPad contract for Los Angeles Unified was announced, the Clear Creek Independent School District in Texas announced it would be purchasing the Windows 8-powered Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) Latitude 10 tablet for the students in its schools, Forbes reports. Kevin Schwartz, the chief technology officer for the school district, took a novel approach in deciding which tablet computer to purchase for the district.

Students enrolled in the Clear Creek district were given various tablets from different manufacturers and asked to select the best model based on a number of factors. However, the students weren’t given any instructions on how to use the devices, in order to see which tablets had the shortest learning curve.

Using this methodology, Schwartz selected Dell’s Latitude 10; students reportedly preferred this tablet’s “ease of use and accessibility.” Students also felt this tablet would best prepare them for the work force, since Windows is still the primary operating system used in businesses.

According to Schwartz, the Windows 8 operating system also has “the easiest solution for security, applications, updates, and personalization.” The CTO also noted that iOS has less productivity software than what is available for Windows.

The Clear Creek Independent School District is planning on distributing 30,000 tablets at the beginning of this school year. The Dell Latitude 10 currently retails for $579 to $849. If the school district pays $579 per tablet, it will spend approximately $17.4 million.

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