Let me start this post with a disclaimer - I do not think Microsoft is the big, bad, wolf in Education Technology. Rather, I think they're a company who a) attracts some of the top talent of the world, b) continues to innovate (maybe not at Early Microsoft paces, but still), and c) is trying to remain relevant as the entire world of technology is turning up on its head. Microsoft is not going away just because there are other solutions out there, but I do think they have some challenges. I still have friends at Microsoft, and believe me, they are passionate, deeply funded, and dead serious about Education, their OS and their productivity suite. Don't underestimate them.
Many education institutions receive Microsoft Office as a "free" add on to (often million dollar) Enterprise Support Agreements. And if the organization is renewing their service agreements and Office comes along for the ride, why not try it?
Well, because it doesn't support Collaboration as well as the Google Apps for Education do. But don't believe me... here's an unbiased Wall Street Journal article on recent updates to Office. MIcrosoft has built in more collaboration features, but collaboration, in my opinion and the writer's, is that they're lagging.
Give the article a read. I think some of the material presented is spot on, other info I have a harder time swallowing. But hey, at least a conversation is happening...
I am opening comments (gulp!) to see what people think. Be respectful. Passionate, opinionated are OK. Bashing Microsoft is, well, not...
Chris Church, Managing Partner
Technology Planning & Consulting, LLC