Universities moving to endorse Apple exclusively?

October 2, 2007

Universities moving to endorse Apple exclusively?For the past while, evidence has been popping up hither and thither that Mac usage at universities and college campuses is starting to snowball; a recent image from the University of Missouri’s school of journalism shows an astounding number of students with Macs. With safety and ease of use becoming of paramount importance to university network security, could it be that colleges will move to endorse Apple products exclusively?

Missouri Journalism Classroom

Past evidence suggests that graduate schools have seen the most vivid change from Windows-centric machines to Macs, but University of Missouri’s School of Journalism computing page reveals some very interesting facts:

“Students are encouraged to acquire wireless laptop technology from Apple, which the School has designated as its preferred provider, but students also will have a choice of a Windows-based alternative. Last year, 99.5 percent of incoming students chose the Apple option.”

A truly awesome number, 99.5% of incoming students swung their votes to Apple. If you were considering selling your Apple stock, perhaps now would be a good time to reconsider.

“Q. What brand or model should I buy?
A. The faculty has designated Apple Computer as its preferred provider for two primary reasons: (1) Apple’s OS X operating system is based on Unix, which makes these computers far less susceptible to viruses than other computers. Viruses are a serious problem on university campuses. (2) Apple iBook and PowerBook computers come bundled with iLife, a suite of applications ideal for learning the basics of photo editing, and audio and video editing. We’ll use those programs in several classes. Incoming students will receive information on recommended models and pricing in February of each year.”

Therein lie the true details of why colleges and universities worldwide may very well stop endorsing Windows-based machines in favor of Macs:

1. Safety is of the utmost concern on college campuses and universities today; most campuses are implementing strong measures to keep students from illegally downloading material from the internet, first because it is illegal, but secondly because of the risk such activity poses. Unix-based OS X is safer (save the debate about why for another day); thusly it would be sensible to endorse Apple products for the safety of the campus networks.

2. Functionality of iLife seems to be a major concern for the school of journalism, obviously, but there is another issue here: the overall ease-of-use for OS X and Apple products is far greater than that of any Windows product today. It would seem logical that the less time the computer help desk or network managers have to spend explaining functionality to students, the happier they will be.

This could signify a serious shift in focus on college campuses globally; either way, now might be the worst time to consider selling that steadily growing Apple stock.

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