It used to be that the major technology companies already had a map that was fairly well carved up, and each stuck to their respective territory. That’s not even close to being the case anymore, with Microsoft pushing hard at search engines and alternatives like Google Apps competing head on with Microsoft’s Outlook suite. Each of these wars for sub-sections of technology creates battles in various landscapes; most recently, Microsoft and Google have been fighting for control of the universities.
Universities are among the top groups that need productivity software, and while Microsoft has long been a staple here, Google is pushing hard to appeal to educators and students. One excellent example of this, as reported by Information Week, is the State University of New York (more frequently known as SUNY).
SUNY recently announced that they had reached an agreement with Microsoft’s Live@EDU services, the suite of productivity software designed specifically for schools. Microsoft was quick to boast that the large university would be using their services across all sixty-four of their campuses.
But not quite, it turns out. Google was quick to chime in, mentioning that several of the different colleges were already signed up for Google Apps for Education (essentially Google’s counterpart to Live@EDU) and that they had no intention of dropping it. In fact, beyond the thirteen colleges already registered, ten more schools were contemplating it.
An official SUNY spokesperson stated in response to the controversy that the agreement with Live would provide campuses with another alternative, giving staff and students more alternatives to pick and choose the application environment that they preferred. That means that the battle for universities will continue to rage on, as both Live@EDU and Google Apps for Education push for support within the university populations.