In an open letter from Yale University, students buying new computers are "strongly encouraged to select a Windows PC" and not a Macintosh. Why? The university says that software for administrative activities such as the school libraries and class scheduling is being designed only for Windows. Yale University "cannot guarantee support for Macintoshes beyond June, 2000," according to the letter.
This wouldn't be considered news if it was only Yale, but they're not alone. Dartmouth, exclusively Macintosh since 1983, has hired its first Windows specialist to assist students. The University of Pennsylvania has been buying software designed solely for Windows as well, shutting out Mac systems. At Brown, half of the students use Windows-based PCs, compared to 25% only five years ago. Princeton's Windows penetration is up to 65%. And Columbia is planning to suggest Windows NT to students, rather than the Mac.
In his keynote address at Macworld last month, Steve Jobs mentioned that education, a key area for Apple, was growing at a rate of 20% per year. What he forgot to tell the Apple faithful, of course, was that Apple's grasp of this market has fallen dramatically in the same time period. One step Apple has taken to regain lost ground in education: keep Newton and sell the eMate as an inexpensive sub-notebook-type computer to students