Google Chromebooks: 17,000 South Dakota Students Sign On

Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8.1 won't arrive in time for back to school season. But Google (GOOG) Chromebooks are shipping -- and arriving at some U.S. school districts, including a 17,000 user deployment in Sioux Fall, S.D.

The VAR Guy

August 20, 2013

2 Min Read
Are Google Chromebooks invading US schools
Are Google Chromebooks invading U.S. schools?

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8.1 launch will miss the back to school season. Google Chromebooks did not — at least not in the case of Sioux Falls, S.D. Indeed, the school district in South Dakota is deploying Chromebooks to 17,000 students. For channel partners, it’s the latest reminder that Google Apps plus the web-based notebooks could gain momentum in K-12 schools. 

“Day one hasn’t been going too bad. The amount of work that has gone into this project, we anticipated there would be some hurdles along the way,” said Sioux Falls School District Information Services Director Bob Jensen. The school system increased its broadband to prepare for the mobile devices interacting with online applications, according to

Within the IT channel, a growing number of Google Apps resellers — including many of the World’s Top 100 Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) — now offer or support Chromebooks within their customer settings.

Admittedly, low-cost Chromebooks likely won’t drive much profit to channel partners. But partners can make money elsewhere from the devices — perhaps focusing on cloud migration projects, Google Apps deployments, and holistic Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategies, and plenty more.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is working hard to get WIndows 8.1 out the door on Oct. 18. And Apple is rumored to be launching a new iPhone with iOS 7 in September. 

Despite some of Microsoft’s recent Windows 8 struggles, the software giant has announced a lengthy list of school deployments. Perhaps even more than the Google Apps/Chromebook combination, Microsoft has momentum promoting Office 365 and Windows 8 in tandem to schools. 

Still, Microsoft now faces numerous market alternatives. ASUS is planning a Chromebook launch in Q4 2013. And big PC vendors like HP and Lenovo are already promoting Chromebooks to their customers. In fact, HP may offer some Chrombook sales updates during the company’s Q3 2013 earnings results, which are expected Aug. 21.

In the meantime, some school districts are discovering the power of Chromebooks. We’ll see how many channel partners embrace the trend…

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