When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella helped introduced Windows 10 S last week, he related a tear-inducing story of how much technology could help poor kids learn in the modern world, citing his own youth in India. That’s effective for getting media attention, but not so much for succeeding in the market.
After struggling for nearly a decade, Google’s Chrome OS recently has begun picking up traction in schools, so of course that’s the new battlefront for technology pundits. The theory is that whoever wins the school wins the next generation. That’s provably false: Apple “owned” the education market in the 1980s but never owned the mass market, and IBM “owned” the education market in the 1990s but only very briefly owned the mass market.