Interesting AP article (by Michael Liedtke) about Google promoting their online word processor and spreadsheet program (Google Office) to elementary and high schools (K thru 12). Google Operating System has some good commentary.
Liedkte wonders how they will make money since no ads are allowed in the ‘office’ space. Maybe they will make it from the ads on millions of blogs, Michael, plus everyone using Goog Office will have a Gmail account with ads and will probably use Google as a search engine where there are plenty of ads.
Microsoft so far as brushed off Google’s alternative software as niche applications unlikely to gain mass appeal.
You get all these kids storing their stuff on Google when they are in grade school, with access anywhere they can get to the Internet, and then you think when they grow up they will rush out to purchase Microsoft Office? Not likely because most of the world will probably be using Goog Office by then.
The article mentions that one teacher spent $4,400 to license 70 copies of Microsoft Office earlier this year.
“There is such a big digital divide out there that products like this really help level the playing field for these kids,” said Lucy Gray, who teaches sixth graders at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
I think a more critical problem than a level field for word processing is a level field for owning a computer and affording Internet access.