Watch Out Google, Microsoft is On the Rise in Education

 image courtesy of

image courtesy of

Those that know me know how much of a Google fanboy I am. From the Android Wear watch on my wrist, to the Chromebook on which I write this post, I love Google products and services. And as an EdTech specialist, I have been quick to promote Google Apps for Education to schools and districts. I even run a Google Educator Group for teachers in Washington State. But I have to be honest, of late I've had the feeling that Google isn't as committed to education as one of it's biggest competitors:  Microsoft.  

I mean, really, in the last year, what has Google brought to the table? Sure, they've continued to improve upon their core suite of apps. I know they are committed to making Google Classroom more robust. But beyond that, the only new thing that comes to mind is the Google Cardboard Expeditions program, which is designed to bring inexpensive virtual reality learning experiences to students--an idea that has lots of great potential.

By contrast, this last year has seen Microsoft bring more new tools to the table.  Most notably, the acquisition of Minecraft and Microsoft's commitment to bringing it to schools shows me they mean business.  Other education related tools that Microsoft has released recently include OneNote Class and Staff Notebooks (now with the ability to integrate with LMS's via the LTI standard), Office MixSway (now available on iPad) and Office365 integration with Edmodo.  To top it off, in the very near future, Windows 10 will be officially available and free for everyone in the first year.

Honestly, it's really good to see Microsoft show such a long overdue commitment to the education space.  It means more and better tools for teachers and students.  

What do you think?  Is this Google fan boy way off base here?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.