Okay, so it is encouraging that Microsoft has decided to “make some money off students”, because if they have, then some interesting and useful products and services, which are otherwise unfundable in the traditional venture capital model, will now get attention.
Here is an article from today’s WSJ:
In many American households, homework is a big problem. Teachers often load up students with far more of it than I recall from my own prehistoric school career. And parents, squeezed for time by dual careers and rusty because of rapidly changing curricula, find it is hard to help.
Also, today’s students often have so many after-school activities that even with the best work ethic, it is a struggle to get through hours of homework and still get enough sleep before the absurdly early start time at many high schools.
Taking note of this daily homework battle, Microsoft has decided to help — or at least to see whether it can make some money by addressing the problem. The software colossus has just introduced Microsoft Student 2006, designed to make it easier for middle-school and high-school students to attack homework efficiently by gathering homework resources in one place on the computer.
According to Walt Mossberg’s review, the software is poorly done, not user friendly, … blah blah blah …
That’s okay. Microsoft just needs to hire IDEO to clean the usability up, and do a few other attentive and creative things to enhance the product quality … For now, I am simply pleased to see the Microsoft thinks that this is a worthwhile segment to invest a tiny portion of its truckloads of sitting cash!