In this first post about the use of technology for educational purposes, mainly Microsoft products, I will deal with a general introduction about a brief interpretation of why Microsoft, and other companies for sure, is interested in education.
Microsoft announced that as of 1 December 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. What that means is that over 35000 educational institutions globally can offer their students free licenses for MS Office to be installed on up to five devices. Aha! Here we go, some will argue that Whilst Google has more market time and experience with Google Apps and it’s certainly an “easier” product to use, MS’ SkyDrive is arguably more feature rich in terms of round-tripping a document from desktop Office, to the cloud for sharing/editing, and then back to the desktop… For once, being slower to market, has allowed MS to release a feature-rich product.
“Functionality aside, it is fascinating to see Microsoft react to the very real threat that Google introduces in the Office Productivity space by hooking customers at the very start of their relationship with a productivity suite. The reality is that once an individual has gone through high school extensively using a productivity suite, the particular suite they use becomes very sticky. Microsoft has the ability to hook the next generation of technology users and all for the cost of a few foregone software licenses.” Sam MacNeill
Underlying these machinations in the productivity space is the very real fact that Microsoft is trying to hook people into a technology platform covering all their needs – it obviously has different entry and monetization models for its platforms, but to a greater or lesser extent it is in a race to attract people within its own flavor of walled garden. What better way to do so than to hook the next generation of users in at the start of their technology use.
This does not mean that Microsoft is the only player on the fields! On the contrary, there is a fierce competition with other competitors mainly Google and Apple. The share between these three seems to be going to focus more on the future generation and what is the best place if it is Not SCHOOL!