Apple grabs software maker for $62 million

Aiming to return to the head of the class in the education market, Apple plans to buy software developer PowerSchool for $62 million in stock.

Aiming to return to the head of the class in the education market, Apple Computer on Wednesday said it plans to buy software developer PowerSchool for $62 million in stock.

Folsom, Calif.-based PowerSchool specializes in software that helps educators and parents manage student records and track a child's progress in school. Approximately 2,000 schools use the system in the United States.

"Apple has a legacy of helping teachers teach and students learn. We are now expanding that mission to include helping schools run more effectively," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "By acquiring PowerSchool and welcoming its talented employees to Apple, we instantly become the leading provider of web-based student information systems nationwide."

PowerSchool currently has approximately 160 employees.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple effectively pioneered the educational computer market in the late 1970s and used its edge to build market share early in the history of the PC business.

Over the years, however, competitors have chipped away at the Apple's position. In 1999, Apple ceded the top spot in education to Dell Computer, according to market researcher Dataquest. Dell captured 21.4 percent of the education market in 1999, compared with Apple's 16.5 percent.

Jobs last year said Apple would redouble its efforts to recapture education sales.

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