Bonum Certa Men Certa

Universities up for Sale; Can Martin Bean Keep Google Away?

"Give me your tired, your poor..."

Graduation disgust



Summary: Open University is open to corporations; Microsoft is in too poor a state for long-term reliance

THE Microsoft-oriented [1, 2] Open University is one among many universities that make the appalling decision to outsource their staff's (and students') mail. It's a certain laziness that leads to it because Free software makes cost not an issue at all. Microsoft views this as an opportunity to turn students into clients whose personal messages are shared with Microsoft for mining/profiling, advertising, and long-term lock-in.



For the Open University, will it be Google or Microsoft now that Microsoft's Martin Bean is in the house?

Niall Sclater, the OU's director of learning innovation, told GC News that the university will shortly be taking a decision about whether to deploy Google Apps or Microsoft Live@edu.


Neither is a good choice. If the Open University is truly open, then it will avoid both proprietary offerings and make use of Free/open source software like many sane universities do.

“If the Open University has "too big to fail" in mind, then it should avoid Microsoft.”What the IT staff is trying to do here is shift liability and move costs downwards and outwards. Downwards because users will pay the price of being prisoners of vendors; outwards because companies like Google/Microsoft cover the short-term costs in exchange for revenue that they then accumulate at the expense of users.

If the Open University has "too big to fail" in mind, then it should avoid Microsoft. Microsoft has just announced another round of layoffs (among others) and judging by its financial results in the past year or two, the company is in a downward spiral. The Open University may wish to take a look at Microsoft's portfolio of dead products from the past year.

We were actually given some credit for reporting Microsoft layoffs well ahead of time; no other publication did so.

Before we go into the article it is worth mentioning that Boycott Novell reported the 800 job cuts way before the news hit the mainstream media. Detractors to the BN website may like to consider that fact.


Some great companies have vanished faster than anyone could imagine; some became minuscule and some like Novell died slowly as their legacy business eroded (mostly Netware).

"There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy."

--Steve Ballmer

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