A Microsoft representative urged the board to pilot more than one product and not to rely on one platform. Doing so could cut off the district from future price reductions and innovations, said Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for Microsoft.
This is a huge loss for Microsoft. It's partly because of the lost sale, but also because of this nugget.
Hines also noted that more businesses still use Microsoft platforms, and that students should be exposed to machines they will encounter in the workplace.
AutoCad offers a free version of its software for college students. Why is this important? Because it keeps students using the products. When they enter the workforce, AutoCad is the software they will be comfortable with. L.A. students won't be familiar with Microsoft and the employee IT budgets will soon follow. A huge argument against Apple in the enterprise in 2004 (retraining) will be an arguement against Microsoft in 2025. This is a company assuming it will always be the default for the enterprise.
Big businesses generally don't become irrelevant overnight. This is slow ride to irrelevance for Microsoft.