The game just changed.

At least according to headline on the full-page Microsoft ad in the USA Today that was left at my hotel room door this morning. The company was announcing the release of Office 365, the cloud-based version of their classic suite of productivity tools.

I wonder if this move to the cloud by the dominant company in business computing will have much impact on the schools and colleges represented here at ISTE. In many if not most sessions, presenters were showing how they are already using web applications with their students to do the same kinds of things they might have used Office (or something similar) for five, eight, ten years ago.

Certainly there’s Google Docs but also a large and growing number of other sites that make it easy to collect, manage, share, and present information. Most are free, or cost far less than the $6 – 27 a month per user Microsoft wants, depending on how many pieces of Office 365 you rent.

So, will there be a big demand in schools for a cloud-based version of Word and PowerPoint? Is this something businesses will pay for?