Consumers, however, develop an emotional attachment to their choice in product when compared to others. This is influenced by 'personal opinion,' 'advertising/marketing,' and 'environmental/cohort' factors.
Thus comes the Google vs. Microsoft 365 debate.
Being immersed in a Google Apps for Education Network and Community I rarely find myself debating the issue, but it does exists and there are, indeed, some who prefer the Microsoft environment. I am not one of those persons.
When you search Microsoft in Education two links jump out at you... 'How to Buy' and 'Volume Licensing.' No such link exists on the Google in Education site.
Google has a vast history of innovation, sharing and collaboration. This is what we are looking for our youth to develop in mind and spirit ~ to be innovative and collaborative. Google most definitely models that.
Take a look at the Loon Project, for a perfect example of what the Google team is pursuing ~ Internet for Everyone.
Google competes by developing tools that people want. Microsoft competes by getting lobbyists to find ways to stop Google through government intervention (which to date has not been successful).
Google and Microsoft are becoming increasingly 'comparable' products when in fact they used to be distinctly different. Why? Because Microsoft is now trying to become more like Google.
We all know that the 'document' in Google Apps does not have as many complex features that Microsoft Word offers. That is a given. For the features that Google does not have in the documents they make up 100m fold with the 'SHARE' button and the shear number of applications that are linked to one account for the students and teachers. With one Google log in you have access to Documents, Slides, Sheets, Drawings, Forms, Blogger, Sites, Maps, Earth, Calendar, YouTube, Google+, Photos, Search, Apps, Chrome, Chrome Apps, Chrome Extensions, Cultural Institute, the Art Project, Google A Day, StoryBuilder, Scripts, Hangouts on Air...more.
In Drive, you ALSO have immediate access to add to your productivity suite (for FREE) just by clicking on 'Add More Apps'. See image below.
I could go on all day and cite the reasons why Google Apps for Education is a better choice than Microsoft 365 because it is already the solution that I love and continue to thrive with.
When I step away from it and consider the bigger picture, I see this.
Google Apps for Education is a one stop shopping solution for schools but the true value lies in the sharing and collaboration that is endless.
Googlers in Education share tirelessly with each other, create how to blogs, videos, sites, training materials, post tweets, host summits, events.
If you don't have a Google+ account, go ahead and create one today. Then, join the Google in Education Communities (there are many but start here: gplus.to/gafe and tell +Lee Webster that +Allison Mollica sent you! :)
Additionally, the Google in Education Team is 'available' and 'responsive' to the community. Google Apps for Education Summits are offered worldwide and Google provides certification, training and support that helps schools build professional development networks as well.
If you are on the fence... I can tell you that the professional learning network in Google Apps for Education is massive and the common element is the desire to engage learners and continually improve the educational learning environment. It is more about the people than the product and that is what makes the product so great.