Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is much more cost effective than Microsoft (MS) Office. Additionally the hardware and on-going maintenance are significantly lower with GAFE as opposed to MS Office. A quick comparison. GAFE including all 70 software applications (docs, spreadsheet, mail, sketch-up, blogger, etc.) are free to Roncalli. The current CDW price for a MS Office Academic license is $76.99 per license.
GAFE also allowed us to purchase Chromebooks instead of Microsoft based laptops. The estimated cost for hardware, warranty, and ongoing support would be double the investment made in Chromebooks.
Roncalli continues to teach utilizing MS Office in our College and Career semester long class. This continues a tradition of utilizing a market leading tool so our students understand word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications. These have changed over the 50 plus years the school has been opened. Originally it was manual typewriters, then electric typewriters, perhaps Word Star and Word Perfect, and now MS Office. With that in mind, more Chromebooks were purchased for US schools last year then laptops and iPads combined.