Microsoft, Houghton Mifflin Help Kids

    June 25, 2007

When you read about publishers on WebProNews, it tends to be because Google’s doing something with them.  This time, however, Houghton Mifflin is in the news, and it’s Microsoft, not Google, with which the company has been associated.

Together, Houghton Mifflin and Microsoft “announced a worldwide strategic alliance designed to make it easier for pre-K-12 and higher-education students, parents, teachers and administrators to access HMLT’s [Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology’s] award-winning educational resources,” according to a press release.

Yes, that’s right – this is more of a good PR move (and, perhaps, a genuinely nice act) than a step forward in search.  But it’s still significant that the two companies have partnered; while some publishers broke out the lawyers over copyright issues, and others prepped their peace pipes, Houghton Mifflin mostly stayed clear of the whole mess.

To explain the deal, Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism Group, said, “Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology share a common belief that the education and technology communities need to work together to provide quality learning environments and experiences that fit the way students learn today.”

“This alliance will have a significant impact on learning environments, and provide a more efficient approach to delivering content for the education market,” he continued in a statement.

Is this perhaps a reference to Google Apps Education Edition?  Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are already trying to one-up each other while saving the environment; it would be great to see them do the same thing in an attempt to help the young ‘uns.