For Immediate Release

Survey: Mac use growing on campus

More college students are Mac users, leading to continued struggles with cross-platform integration

Mac use in higher education jumped 18 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to a survey of North American colleges and universities—but supporting the popular Apple products alongside Windows devices in a cross-platform environment is still a nuisance for many campus technology officials.

The survey of 125 institutions, conducted by digital collaboration company Group Logic, says Mac use on campus is not expected to plateau any time soon: Campus technology leaders expect Mac use to rise by another 20 percent over the next five years.

Thirty percent of college students and one in four faculty members are Mac users, according to the survey. With Mac use on the rise, about 60 percent of college IT officials said the satisfaction of Mac users “had improved over the past year,” despite some problems with cross-platform integration.

If a college hasn’t properly integrated both Windows and Macintosh systems, students and faculty might have trouble accessing printers or files between PCs and Macs.

Anders Lofgren, Group Logic’s vice president of product management, said “institutions that use built-in system tools to integrate their Mac and Windows environments still find that performance and security remain significant concerns.”

The survey results show that campus technology departments have dealt with a steady stream of questions and concerns from on-campus Mac users having trouble connecting to printers or sharing files. Four in 10 college IT officials surveyed said they receive requests from students who need help transferring files using a Mac computer “often” or “nearly every day.”

“There was a time when our industry was talking mostly about future adoption when it came to Macs, but that time has passed,” Lofgren said.

Kenneth Stafford, chief information officer at Kansas State University, said he’s noticed about half of his university’s students use Mac laptops, and at his previous job as vice chancellor of technology at the University of Denver, 65 percent of incoming students owned Macs.

The migration from PCs to Macs, Stafford said, was largely a reaction to the shortcomings of the Windows Vista operating system released in 2007. Stafford said students, faculty, and staff had consistent problems printing documents, for example, when Vista was first launched.

“[Vista] was a huge maintenance nightmare for the help desk,” he said. “Those years with Vista—they were a real problem.”

Group Logic’s research is the latest confirmation that Mac use is growing on campuses nationwide. Research firm Student Monitor released a report in August showing that 27 percent of student-owned laptops were Macs, making it the top individual brand in higher education.

Twenty-four percent of student laptops are made by Dell, and 15 percent are made by Hewlett Packard, according to the Student Monitor research.

And like the Group Logic survey, Student Monitor’s results indicated that a sharp increase in Mac use is on the way in higher education. Nearly half of student respondents planning to buy a laptop said they planned on purchasing a Mac.

In 2005, only 14 percent of college students said they would buy a Mac laptop, and about half said they would purchase a Dell, according to Student Monitor.

The most-used operating system on campuses remains Windows, although the popularity of the Mac operating system has steadily increased in recent years. In 2003, more than 2,500 institutions used Windows, while about 200 used the Mac operating system, according to the Student Monitor report.

By 2008, more than 1,100 colleges and universities were using the Mac operating system—compared with about 2,000 using Windows—and in 2009, the gap closed even more. About 1,400 institutions used the Mac operating system last year, and 1,700 used Windows.

College students who use iPhones and other Apple products have seen how reliable the company’s technology can be and might be more willing to pay more for a Mac when shopping for a laptop, Stafford said. Mac’s sleek style and popular marketing campaigns, he added, don’t hurt.

“Apple has sort of become a religion for some people,” he said. “Going into an Apple store—it’s definitely an experience.”



Kristy Buige
Group Logic, Inc.

About Group Logic

GroupLogic helps enterprise and education IT organizations simply and securely integrate diverse computing platforms into enterprise environments, connecting employees to enterprise files, content and assets to facilitate a more productive and efficient work environment. With more than two decades of experience, GroupLogic leads the marketplace in helping IT organizations effectively and easily manage the integration of Apple products into the enterprise ecosystem.

Whether IT organizations are looking to integrate existing Apple assets, purchase additional Apple hardware like Macs and iPads, or want to take advantage of the hardware costs savings that accompany the adoption of IT consumerization, GroupLogic enables IT organizations to easily and securely manage the rapid integration of diverse platforms while ensuring resources are optimized.

GroupLogic enables the enterprise to focus on what is really important - competitive differentiation, improved employee productivity, mitigated risk and reduced costs. GroupLogic's proven products - ExtremeZ-IP, ArchiveConnect, and MassTransit - are in use by some of the world's most innovative companies, including Christie's, International Greetings and Omnicom Group.

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