Our district is currently looking at going to a free email hosted solution with the capability for online storage and document creation. We are looking at these two.
I am finding that Microsoft has recently put a lot of resources into their platform and it looks pretty interesting.
Has anyone made this decision/comparison recently? I would love to hear what you all have to say.
Information on Office365:
Information on Google Apps Education:
Wow! Great discussion here.
I have limited experience with Live@edu, but I have been impressed with what I've seen. Still, I'm hesitant to head that way because it's fairly new and unproven. I don't want to knock Microsoft off-hand because the Bill Gates Foundation really does a lot, but I have concerns. Specifically, Microsoft tends to start charging fees for a lot of their tools, while Google has always been free and open for teachers. Also, Microsoft has a vested interest in keeping things tied to Windows, while Google apps generally play nice with all OS. Plus, Google tends to be on the cutting edge, and they are often the first to release and perfect tools for classroom use.
Lastly, Google apps are now used in a ton of colleges and professional atmospheres, so experience with them could be a huge plus for students when they move beyond your school.
Please let us know what you decide!
Your thoughts very much echo mine. When I hear "cutting edge" I do not automatically think Microsoft. I also think providing students with opportunities to work in different platforms is good, but it's a hard sell here in my district. The online storage at Microsoft is huge. I suspect Google is working on competing in this realm, but so far, nothing. :(
Thanks for contributing.
I know that our IT department has been having conversations with a third party to help with our migration when the whole district switches. I will see if I can get you some more information on that.
The article "a fact based comparison of Hosting services" from Microsoft gives Microsoft's side of the comparison, like anything from a vendor, to be taken with a grain of salt. It is accurate, but slanted toward if you are mainly focused on email and if you are an IT person rather than an educator.
Having spent some time working with both(am a certified google apps trainer) so here are some of the key "gotchas" I've hit for both.
Microsoft (live and to some extent 365 and technically office web apps if you host your own sharepoint)
Jim,Regarding your MS Pro #1 reason, does web based OneNote now support ink. We are huge users of OneNote as part of our Tablet PC 1:1 program in grades 6-12. We just switched to Google Apps for our email last week but considered live@edu for a bit during early planning because of OneNote. At the time, lack of ink support in OneNote web killed that as a major advantage for use. Has that changed?