Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be “quietly preparing a revitalized strategy aimed at schools and universities, the company’s biggest market,” according to a Business Week Online story .
“What I see ahead is a big strategic thrust that will again move Apple ahead of the curve in the educational market — a plan that repositions the company as the gatekeeper in an increasingly wired educational community,” writes columnist Charled Haddad in his “Byte of the Apple” column. “Macs will become the portals in a larger Apple network that provides schools with everything from Internet access to the management of student records.”
The “pieces of the puzzle” that led the writer to this conclusion are:
1. Apple’s company’s registration of ischool.com as a new domain on the Web. “To me, that signals Jobs is following the same path he did with iTools, a company site that offers Mac users such Web-based services such as storing files and sending greeting cards and e-mail,” Haddad said. “Is Jobs now thinking about developing a similar set of Web-driven applications for schools?”
2. Apple’s purchase of PowerSchool Web-based school-management software.
3. Jobs upcoming June keynote (his first ever) at the 22nd annual National Educational Computing Conference in Chicago. The theme this year: developments in classroom-computing technology. “Tens of thousands of teachers and administrators are expected to attend,” Haddad said. “Jobs couldn’t ask for a better platform to kick off a new education strategy.”
4. Mac OS X — “Based on Unix, OS X has supercharged Internet and networking capabilities,” Haddad said. “It could be the thread that ties together all the other pieces of Jobs’ plan. Sounds like a winner to me.”
Us too. We’ll see.