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Cloud Education Microsoft News

Microsoft Pays University $250K To Use Office 365 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-our-product-please dept.
BogenDorpher writes "Microsoft has offered to give the University of Nebraska $250,000 dollars to make the switch from IBM Lotus Notes to Office 365, which they say offers newer technology, greater flexibility, and operational savings. Microsoft did this in hopes that the University would not make the transition over to Google Apps."
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Microsoft Pays University $250K To Use Office 365

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  • Pay me $500,000!
  • by improfane (855034) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:42PM (#36674484) Journal

    At first I was outraged that Microsoft "discounted" (read: bribed) the uiversity to switch but then I realised that the students are probably grateful because

      Lotus Notes is a horrible horrible piece of software. Microsoft might be evil but Lotus Notes is the scourge. I would happily endure a Windows only hell over a life of Lotus Notes.

    IBM probably did this to the university to begin with, no system administrator would use Lotus Notes willingly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      $250k is cheap like a whore, the vice chancellor probably gets paid more than that in a year. I wouldn't get out of bed for less than $2.5m, unless that bed had Lotus Notes in it.

      • $250k is cheap like a whore, the vice chancellor probably gets paid more than that in a year. I wouldn't get out of bed for less than $2.5m, unless that bed had Lotus Notes in it.

        Where do you work? I'll get out of bed for only $2m. Now, do you get this every time you get out of bed or is it just once a day? Also, if you have to get up during the night, does that count?

        • by Cwix (1671282)

          Also, if you have to get up during the night, does that count?

          Naw, you are on call.

    • by Ferzerp (83619)

      You were initially outraged because the university managed to negotiate some free services with their purchase?

      Oh the travesty!

      • by improfane (855034)

        Its anticompetitive. Intel did it once too.

        Customers are supposed to buy products. They're not supposed to be paid not to use competing products.

        If it was a discount then it's not the same thing. The summary sounds like the incentive was 250k of cash plus the product. That's not a discount. That's a bribe or anticompetitive behaviour.

        • by Ferzerp (83619)

          RTFA. The summary is an outright fabrication. (of course, so is the title of the article in question).

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            RTFA. The summary is an outright fabrication. (of course, so is the title of the article in question).

            Actually, the summary just quotes the introduction to the article. And, in the article, it states that the university is receiving funds from Microsoft to cover consulting and conversion costs.

        • by idontgno (624372)

          If I discount your purchase of my product because of competitive pricing by a market adversary, is that unethical? Because last time I looked, that's called "competitive pricing".... kinda like negotiating a better price at $BIGBOX_ELECTRONICS_STORE because you saw a deal at $ONLINE_ELECTRONICS_RETAILER. Which, btw, you can do, successfully, sometimes.

          It was a discount. TFS is wrong, almost to the point of libel.

          That said, since Microsoft took a quarter-million dollar hit in the "Expected Sales" column, and

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "The summary sounds..."

          Really? really? you are going by the summary? what, are you new here? the summaries of ALL articles are bad and inaccurate, the summaries on slashdot are often wrong and something nonsensical in the context of that they link to.

          Half the times the stories they link to our sensational PoS in and of themselves.

          I don't know about this story, but basing a post on slashdot fro a summary is often folly.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          And you should learn to read before you speak.

          MS didn't 'PAY' anyone anything ... unless by pay ... you mean gave them a discount ...

          MS discounted the school $250k off the price they quoted them to perform the data conversion and import.

          The school will still be paying MS very large sums of money and at no point will any of it be pointed in the direction of the school.

          Learn the difference between a discount and pay off. The discount happens in pretty much every business.

          Basically, Microsoft waived the 'ne

    • by cvtan (752695)
      Agree Lotus Notes is horrible. We had to use it at Kodak. Never got used to it. Everything is a database. Really? Better than IBM PROFS though.
      • I used PROFS/VM (and OV/VM) for a decade, and I've used Notes for almost seven years.

        I preferred PROFS by a mile. It had space issues, sure, but at least it would send e-mail reliably and tell you when new messages were in your mailbox in a timely manner. Notes here is terrible ... there is sometimes a 10-15 minute delay between an internal mail being sent and being received, the "new mail" indicator triggers but I have to manually refresh to see the actual messages, etc.

        Worst e-mail client I've ever used

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I had worked with Notes briefly, not as a corporate user but to integrate with it. And I rather liked it. There was no competition for it since no one did anything like it at the time. However I think a lot of people used solely for mail and a few side apps and thus they treated it like competitor with Outlook. But the Idea of Notes being used not for mail primarily, but as a conversation tracker was something I wouldn't mind seeing. It wasn't the easiest thing to customize but vastly simpler than Outl

    • It's worth paying money to get rid of Lotus Notes. Getting money back for getting rid of Lotus Notes? That's like some kind of dream.
    • Who gives a small rat's ass how grateful the students might be? The students are in college for no other purpose than to learn how to solve problems. So - dump all the worst problems that all the buggy fucking software in the world can create, sit back, and see how the students solve the problems.

      Being spoonfed a "solution" that one particular corporation finds to be profitable is NOT an education.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:42PM (#36674488)

    University of Nebraska: "I don't care what the benefits are. You'd have to pay me to use Microsoft's Office 365."
    Microsoft: [Takes out a checkbook.] "How much are we talking about?"

    • which they say offers newer technology, greater flexibility, and operational savings.

      Microsoft: "It offers newer technology, greater flexibility, and operational savings."
      University of Nebraska: "No it doesn't! It costs $249,999.99 more than Lotus Notes."
      Microsoft: *slides check across the table* "There you go."

    • M$ is trying to get away with marketing unscriptable office apps once again (Office 365 doesn't support VBA macros).

      What happened the last time they did this? Office 2008 for Mac dropped support for VBA macros. Customers complained mightily, and now it's back in Office 2011 for Mac.

      There's only so much one can do with unscriptable office apps. M$'s new "ribbon interface" is hardly a breakthrough. Things only get interesting when users have access to automation and an easy-to-use programming language lik

      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        Microsoftie Bob: Hmmm, how can we get folks to migrate off of the next version of Office quicker?
        Microsoftie Bill: I know! We'll disable VBA Macros. Folks will complain and we'll have more time to work on the code.
        Microsoftie Bob: Yea, it worked for Vista!

        [John]

      • M$ is trying to get away with marketing unscriptable office apps once again (Office 365 doesn't support VBA macros).

        Don't worry, it's online, there are way better options for scripting than VBA. There is always a better option than VBA. Javascript shines like a Grail-Shaped Beacon next to VBA.

        Things only get interesting when users have access to automation and an easy-to-use programming language like VBA.

        The explosion of things like Wordpress shows that not only would people rather download something pre-made than make it themselves, but there's also a commercial market for programmers willing to do the work and compete.

      • Given how limited Office 365 actually is, compared to desktop Office (it's only feature-rich if you compare to Google Docs, really), I think that the lack of macros is not going to be a stressing issue for many users. They'll probably run into something else first.

  • needs to go. What's with all this anti-competitive bullshit coming from Microsoft. They actually used to be a very good technology company until a couple of years back.
    • Re:Steve Ballmer.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Elbereth (58257) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:47PM (#36674562) Journal

      Ballmer offers incentives. Gates dictated. I'll take Ballmer over Gates any day, because you can at least turn down Ballmer's incentives. If you stood up to Gates, you were destroyed.

      I would contrast Sculley and Jobs in a similar manner, though not nearly so strong.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        If you stood up to Gates, you were destroyed.

        God, how much of a pussy do you have to be that you're afraid to stand up to a boss?

        Whats he going to do? FIRE YOU? Do you know anyone who has been turned down for a job because 'oh yea, and I stood up to bill gates and he fired me'? No, no one anywhere would give a shit.

        This is America. You can find a job. No boss can 'destroy' you, only your fear will destroy you. Your boss is just a man, same as you (or female, but you get the point). If you're afraid of Bill Gates, you have bigger issues than any

        • by Elbereth (58257)

          Yes, one is usually not destroyed by one's boss, no matter how much of an asshole he is. However, the competition was destroyed, and, as I'm sure you're aware, that's to what I was referring... though it was a good troll. I rate it 4/5. Would be trolled again. An asset to Slashdot! A++++++++

    • by boristdog (133725)

      Yeah, just like that stupid anti-competitive Apple has been doing with steep student discounts on their products since 1984!

      Microsoft is getting a clue and going after their future market, just like Apple has always done.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Yeah, just like that stupid anti-competitive Apple has been doing with steep student discounts on their products since 1984!

        Microsoft is getting a clue and going after their future market, just like Apple has always done.

        Ummm, the student discount on a Mac is like $50 or $100 depending on what model. That doesn't sound very steep.

  • Lotus Notes still exists?
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:53PM (#36674628)

    I'm not being sarcastic there, I haven't seen anyone using that since the 90's. I kind of put it in my "assumed they phased it out years ago" file right next to Novell Groupwise (found out not long ago they still make that too).

  • by shentino (1139071)

    Wouldn't this count as a bribe?

    • No, it's not since they weren't paying them to use it. It was a completely commonplace discount given to a big customer. Universities negotiate such discounts all the fucking time. The summary and article are FUD.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        No, it's not since they weren't paying them to use it. It was a completely commonplace discount given to a big customer. Universities negotiate such discounts all the fucking time. The summary and article are FUD.

        According to the article, the university is receiving $250,000 in funds to cover consulting services for the conversion from Lotus Notes. So, it is only a bribe if you are paid to actually use it, but not if your are paid to make it so you can use it? I agree if Microsoft actually discounted the price of Office 365, that this is normal and happens all the time. However, if the university actually received funds as part of the transaction, then how is that not a bribe unless the only contractors involved

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Is a $2000 consumer rebate on buying a 2012 Pigmobile a bribe? Even if you actually take the money in hand, rather than having it applied as a discount on the purchase price? (Because, you know, the former is income to be taxed, whereas the latter might reduce sales-taxable purchase price (depending on jurisdiction).)

      Or... and let's be honest here... is it evil because that convicted monopolist is doing it, and anything that they do to get any sale at the expense of any competitor is EVIL.

      I swear. There see

  • Article is a lie. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:59PM (#36674730)

    Unless my alarm company is also "paying me $300" by installing my monitoring equipment for free and 3 months of free service so I will then pay them a monthly, 2 year contract guaranteed amount of $30.

    The University is paying for the service, but getting free services and a discount. Article makes it sound like Microsoft is paying them to use Office 365, which is untrue.

  • $250k to compensate the college for trying out a new technology. I get the feeling that the university didn't really want to go to Google Apps anyways but used to as a bargaining chip with Microsoft. Organizations have done this before all the time. I don't know Boeing, Air Bus seem like a better deal. Or You know Ford we like those Chevy's for our fleet trucks. An educated consumer can really give those evil corporations a ride. (They just make all their money off of the stupid consumers)

  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln? University of Nebraska at Omaha? Or the whole University of Nebraska system? There're more than one University of Nebraska...
  • They have money to burn [slashdot.org] now. Still, if I was them, I'd put the money into a campus party, then use Google Apps anyways, which is free for universities.

  • Adobe vs Quark (Score:4, Informative)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @04:01PM (#36675532)

    This sort of thing happens in education. Software producers know they need to plan for future users so they give it to the kids who they hope will buy it. Some coworkers of mine at an advertising agency said their professor called Quark (makers of QuarkXpress) asking for educational discounts for 30+ licenses and were told there was no discount. At the time the license cost was something like $1200 per seat. So they called Adobe and asked for educational discounts on InDesign, new at the time, and Adobe just gave them everything they wanted at no cost.

    Worked in their favor too. When those kids hit the working world they only knew InDesign and their employers were forced to switch. We did. And never looked back.

    "Then Adobe hit the market in 1999 with a program called InDesign (now used by Inc.). In 2003, Adobe launched its Creative Suite, which rolled in products such as Photoshop and Illustrator with InDesign. Quark couldn't come close. Its U.S. market share tumbled from 95 percent to just 25 percent ."

    http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/can-quark-turn-the-corner.html [inc.com]

    If you want to sell your product give it to the educators.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      This sort of thing happens in education. Software producers know they need to plan for future users so they give it to the kids who they hope will buy it. Some coworkers of mine at an advertising agency said their professor called Quark (makers of QuarkXpress) asking for educational discounts for 30+ licenses and were told there was no discount. At the time the license cost was something like $1200 per seat. So they called Adobe and asked for educational discounts on InDesign, new at the time, and Adobe just gave them everything they wanted at no cost.

      Worked in their favor too. When those kids hit the working world they only knew InDesign and their employers were forced to switch. We did. And never looked back.

      "Then Adobe hit the market in 1999 with a program called InDesign (now used by Inc.). In 2003, Adobe launched its Creative Suite, which rolled in products such as Photoshop and Illustrator with InDesign. Quark couldn't come close. Its U.S. market share tumbled from 95 percent to just 25 percent ."

      http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/can-quark-turn-the-corner.html [inc.com]

      If you want to sell your product give it to the educators.

      And yet all of those kids coming out of college knowing linux hasn't forced companies to switch to it. The reason that your example worked was because companies were not entrenched in QuarkXpress or InDesign at the time and therefore the kids coming out set the standard, not the companies. Apple tried the same approach with education - giving steep discounts to schools and universities on their equipment, but that didn't change the business market, at least not much. Why, because for all practical purpos

      • Precisely, for companies the cost of the software is trivial.

        If your employees are 25% faster using product B instead of product A, even if you have product A you buy product B.

        And I would like to the availability of Linux is a significant part of the reason it has pushed traditional unixes out of business computing, and holds onto the lions share of internet facing servers. You may notice that the majority of people coming out of college don't know what Linux is, they use Windows. Those who know Lin
    • by sootman (158191)

      There was a little more to it than that. Quark took YEARS before they released a native version for OS X, versions 5 and 6 were not big improvments over 4, those updates were years apart, and they got really, really behind in features, especially the quality of their typesetting engines. And since the other 2 parts of the Holy Trinity of desktop publishing were both Adobe apps (Photoshop and Illustrator), InDesign's integration with them (like being able to import layered Photoshop files, rather than requir

  • You gotta hang the pork chop around the neck of your ugly baby to get the dog to play with it...

  • You must be a really, really bad salesman if you can't actually SELL any solution to a company that's currently using Lotus Notes. I'm pretty sure that if I approached any of the 3 companies that continue to use it, I could get them to pay me to replace their Lotus Notes installation with a digital picture of my left testicle. A picture of my left testicle, you see, offers more features and is more user friendly than Lotus Notes. Overall the user experience will be improved. Furthermore, my testicle require

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