Students react to UofA's final switch from Google to Microsoft

On September 27, university authorities deleted the majority of UA students' Google Drive accounts, completing the campus-wide transition from Google Suite to Microsoft 365, which will begin in December 2020. According to the UA IT services website, the switch from Google Drive to OneDrive was made to secure university data and bring students, instructors, and staff together on a single platform. Before their accounts were deleted, students were required to save any Google Drive files they wished to save. Students were informed via email on September 12 and September 26 that their university Google Drive accounts will be canceled. According to UA IT communicator Erin Griffin, security was considered important when choosing to migrate. Griffin claimed that since we no longer have that contract, we are no longer monitoring Google Drive. We want to make sure that professors and students are as safe as possible because if something were to happen, that presents a danger. Students were still permitted to use Google Drive with their UA addresses until this year, Griffin said, despite university officials being aware in 2014 that the contract with Google was scheduled to expire and the decision being made in 2020. According to Griffin, Google Drive has sort of maintained its heritage throughout the past two years, and we wanted them to delay losing their accounts when they did. Griffin claimed there was a purpose for the move, even if it appeared to occur unexpectedly in the middle of the semester. Unless they are enrolled in summer school, she claimed, pupils are not paying attention to their school email. Saying to students that hey, this is about to happen. Please take your time and make sure you move your files is now much simpler. Carly Lidzy, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, was overjoyed to learn that she could link her school account to her Google account when she first enrolled there a year ago. She said, however, that she had no idea that a year later, her access to Google Drive would be suspended, forcing her to transfer all of her papers to another account. Lidzy said I was unaware that the school had been attempting to switch from Google to Microsoft. I wouldn't have utilized my UARK Google Drive so obsessively during my freshman year if I had known that. The adjustment has caused conflicting reactions in some students. According to Griffin, new students coming out of high school are familiar with Google Drive but they might not be with Microsoft. She claimed that most students today, if not all of them, grew up on Gmail, making it a fairly comfortable and intuitive system for them. Microsoft is a little bit different for the younger generation of students entering college, but it still provides the same kinds of features. A student named Dino Fantegrossi believes Microsoft's goods are high-quality, particularly when access is made possible by paying tuition, he added. Google, however, offers the same goods without charge. I think it's a bit of a mixed bag, according to Fantegrossi. Microsoft Office is available to you via your student account and tuition on any device. For individuals who lack the resources to pay out of pocket on their own, that is incredibly convenient. Fantegrossi claims that the transfer has drawbacks, including his problems with the business. I don't appreciate Microsoft's foreign business practices, Fantegrossi claimed. It doesn't seem fair to me or to anyone else that we are essentially being forced to pay the firm money through tuition. China has been home to Microsoft since the company's creation in 1992, and it is also the location of its biggest international R&D facility. According to Fantegrossi, China poses a serious security risk since it collects data, persecutes Uighur Muslims, and infringes on Taiwan's sovereignty. Despite the change, Lidzy said she will keep using Google since she finds Microsoft's products to be imprecise and dated. According to Lidzy, it appears that more people are gravitating toward Google and Google Drive-related concepts. Griffin cited the widespread use of Microsoft and Google products by employers as a benefit of the switch, stating that it better prepares students for the workforce. Griffin stated that more than half of all employers use Microsoft and a growing number of Google. When you enter the workforce, you will be faced with going from one job using Microsoft to another later on using Google, so becoming familiar with both environments is extremely beneficial.