Schools waiting for Windows 8 before buying tablets
Education buyers wait for Microsoft before committing to tablets for pupils, research finds
Many schools are postponing a decision on whether to purchase tablets for their pupils until the release of Windows 8, according to the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA).
A BESA survey of 500 British schools found that 6% of all "pupil-facing computers" will be non-Windows tablets by the end of this year, a figure that is expected to climb to 22% by the end of 2015.
One of the reasons schools are holding back is Windows 8 will offer a unified platform on slates and desktops
However, BESA warned that many schools are still taking a cautious approach to tablets, with 85% of schools worried about the management and security of such devices, and 71% concerned about the installation and purchase of apps.
In particular, schools are concerned that the investment they've already made in Windows software is lost when buying Android tablets or iPads. "One of the reasons schools are holding back is Windows 8 will offer a unified platform on slates and desktops," BESA director Caroline Wright told PC Pro.
BESA also found that the majority of primary schools are waiting for the Government to back the adoption of tablets, even though schools were granted the autonomy to make their own ICT buying decisions in 2010, following the dismantling of BECTA.
Education secretary Michael Gove has espoused the educational benefits of tablets, telling the 2011 Schools Network Annual Conference that "as we move to a world where we expect every child will have a tablet, the nature and range and type of content that can be delivered will be all the greater".