Mixed reactions to Microsoft O365 transition 

Raelee Sents, Contributing Writer

University of Alabama students have conflicting responses to the campus-wide switch to Microsoft O365 that occurred last month. 

This change has impacted students across campus differently. 

Both Jackson Olmstead, a junior majoring in public relations, and Hannah Wells, a graduate student studying criminal justice, felt that the university should have stayed on Google Drive. Wells said that “the online version of Word and other applications is hard to collaborate on.”  

While Olmstead has not faced any problems yet, he said “I think we shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.” 

Addie Barnard, a junior majoring in finance and economics, said she prefers Microsoft O365 applications compared to those offered by Google. Barnard said she felt the University adequately prepared students and “there wasn’t much to do except get our stuff moved over and that didn’t take long.”  

According to the OIT website, the University had Microsoft representatives on campus from April 11 to April 13 to help students make this transition. 

Savannah Prefontaine, a sophomore majoring in communications, thought the University did a good job preparing people for the transition, saying that it “gave us multiple notifications and advertised it across campus” in preparation for the change. 

Megan Bennett, the director of consumer relations for the Office of Information Technology, said the transition to Microsoft came after Google announced a cost structure change creating a significant cost increase for the University.  

Bennett said moving to Microsoft was a “no brainer” because it provides students and faculty with the applications and resources they need in one place. 

The Student Government Association and the Student IT Forum were critical groups in helping test this change throughout the year. Bennett said having student opinions was especially important to OIT from both a business sense and a student sense. 

“The SGA was happy to assist the university in its transition to Microsoft,” Trinity Hunter, the SGA press secretary said on behalf of the previous SGA administration. “The Microsoft suite stands out in its field through the services offered, and we are confident they will contribute to the career readiness of our students.”