Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace are no longer available in schools in France

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Philippe Latombe, a member of the French National Assembly, pointed out that the free versions of these programs, while attractive, are not advisable

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace are no longer available in schools in France

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace. (photo: UC Today)

With Office 365 Education and Workspace for Education, both Microsoft and Googleoffer free versions of their Office software to educational institutions and students. However, the French Ministry of Education banned the use of these free offers in schools.

It seems that the concerns of the Ministry are primarily about these free offerings, not the paid versions of the software. Free offers do not meet the SecNumCloud classification, which is the control of commercial cloud products by the French National Cyber ​​Security Agency (ANSSI).

Now that's over , but the issue of security goes further, because in August Philippe Latombe, a member of the French National Assembly, warned the Minister of Education of that country, Pap Ndiaye, that the free version of Microsoft Office 365, attractive as it may be, “is a form of illegal dumping”.

This term refers to the practice of selling below normal price or at prices below cost in order to eliminate competition and take over the market. The word is generally used only in the context of the laws of international trade.

This is where “dumping” is defined as the practice in which a company establishes a lower price for imported goods, compared to the production costs that the company has from the country to which those goods are exported, taking out of competition the local company.

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France removes free versions of Office 365 and Workspace of their schools

“Microsoft Office 365 may seem attractive at first glance, but offering this service for free is the ultimate in extremes and deserves unfair competition. It raises a serious question of sovereignty because it is above. Please tell us your opinion on this matter”, explained Latombe a few months ago.

On the other hand , writes Ndiaye, educational institutions should use European collaboration packages “that host data in the European Union and do not transfer it to the United States”.

Keep in mind that in the EU, not only France, but also Germanyprohibits the use of Microsoft Office 365 in schools. The German country declared that “Microsoft Office 365 exchanges information with data centers in the United States,” in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Thus, it was banned in 2019 from the perspective of privacy information protection.

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace are no longer available in schools in France

Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace. (photo: Version2)

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And precisely in this they consider that Microsoft and Google do not comply with the regulations and the 2020 decision of the Court of the European Union, which regulates the cross-border sharing of data.

Despite this, however, both companies seem to be fighting to win European government contracts in the cloud. On behalf of Microsoft, he announced the Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty service, which enables public sector customers to use the company's cloud services on a statutory basis.

They also want to introduce an EU user policy, similar to Google, which can be processed in accordance with data protection regulations until the end of 2022 and which can also be used in schools.

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