Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fallen Angel

Angel sold out to Blackboard.
Or Blackboard acquired Angel. Either way it is a real shame. Angel had a lot going for it as a company. It was practically revolutionary in the way it handled customer service. While Bb had service tickets that were years old, angel would send a team of people out to each campus to meet with people. All of the reasons Blackboard claims to have acquired Angel were all of the reasons we left Blackboard - innovation and customer service. I really hope Bb doesn't figure out too soon how to lock down, monetize and password protect all of the great features of Angel. The next year will probably be the greatest argument for open source software since Micro$loth. I seriously think this aquisition should be looked into especially in light of all the litigation around Desire2Learn and Blackboard's attempts to sue them out of existence. Angel's market share was expanding and if they just waited they would certainly have become a dominant force in another year. We really need to take education out of the hands of the corporations. I am not anti-Blackboard - I am anti-big money, bad service, and stifling of innovation. I was pretty angry when I first heard this news because of all of the time, training, energy, and money the State of WA has put into this. We still really don't know what it all means. I will be brushing up on my Moodle skills. One of the more measured responses to this Paradise Lost was from Marc Lentini who said via email:

"We got word about the Blackborg buyout less than an hour before starting our very first Angel Transition Orientation.

Our plan is to continue transitioning to Angel. It's still a better product, it's still going to be maintained as its own entity, it's going to be here for three years (which is all we figure you get out of any system these days), and it'll still allow cross-campus collaboration.

Then I'm going to ram my head into a concrete wall."
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