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You fail to recognize that a large part of the problem lies within academia itself. Bureaucratic purchasing processes, nickel-and-diming vendors, and the absence of agreement among decision making committees regarding "what works best" has created an environment in which companies like Bb are forced to do everything they can to protect market share. The education market does not reward innovation - it rewards the companies with the budget and persistence to push through the red-tape to get a sale. Once entrenched there's no motivation to innovate or treat customers well because all the complaining doesn't change the one constant - it'll take 100 committee meetings and 5 years for a school to conclude that it's just too expensive to leave Bb. Purchasing processes at schools do more to stifle innovation than Bb's over-reaching patent. Just some thoughts from someone in the industry.


You've also got to remember that to a certain extent education is a market for lemons :)


There are open source alternatives for Microsoft programs. Open Office can certainly produce the same documents you can make with Word. Why does Microsoft Word still dominate? Because most of the world wants a universal product. There are rewards with that thinking and of course disadvantages. Blackboard is almost as ingrained in Higher Ed as Word is ingrained in every business. The rank and file faculty members do not care what LMS they use as long as it works and as long as it does not change constantly.

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