Sunday, December 10, 2006

Google returns to school to bully Microsoft.

While Microsoft is asking K12 schools to dig deep into their pockets, it seems that Google is passing out generous gifts to the next generation of computer users. Allow me to elaborate. According to the Associated Press, “Google Inc., a company synonymous with searching the Internet, hopes to define far more of the world's computing experience with a helping hand from schoolchildren. For several months, it has been giving away to all takers an online word processor, spreadsheet and other programs that can perform tasks usually handled by desktop software. Offering a convenience that worries some privacy experts, the programs automatically store everything in Google's vast data centers so the information can be retrieved on any Internet-connected computer.”

Beyond the privacy issue, the idea of an inexpensive solution to Microsoft’s over priced 2007 Office Suite may make K12 superintendents smile. Microsoft is asking K12 schools to pay a yearly subscription to lease their 2007 Office Suite rather than buy it. The lease for the average K12 School for the software will tally up to about a six-digit yearly figure. Most K12 superintendents view Microsoft’s lease proposal as a budget buster and are looking for alternatives. Some systems are turning to Open Office, and now Google has arrived to save the day. Ironically, dear ole granddad used to say; sometimes it isn’t how you get on the wagon, but when you get on the wagon that makes all the difference. So, I guess the real question is…Why Excel When You Can Google?

William Bishop (Bill)


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