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August 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Missouri School of Journalism opens Microsoft app development lab

The Missouri School of Journalism — which has taken flak in the past for strongly recommending that students use Apple laptops — just announced that it’s opened a Microsoft Application Development Lab.

The lab, part of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism is “a place where RJI staff and Fellows, students, faculty and others can innovate and collaborate using the soon-to-be released Windows 8 operating system,” according to a news release from the institute.

Students will have access to the lab to explore, create and test new Windows 8 apps, including those used for mobile journalism, publishing and marketing, according to the school.

In addition to housing current Windows-based laptops, tablets and hybrids, the lab also includes Xbox 360 with Kinect, and will feature new devices running Windows 8 when that operating system is released Oct. 26.

Apple features the Missouri School of Journalism on its website as one of its examples of Apple products in schools and universities.

Mike McKean, an associate professor with the Missouri School of Journalism and director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, said the school will continue to use Macs in many of its classrooms. (“Journalism students are

required to buy a laptop as freshmen and the vast majority of them have

chosen Macs because of our relationship with Apple. But they’ve always had

the choice to purchase a Windows-based laptop,” he said).

“What we’re doing with the new Microsoft Application Development Lab is add

Windows 8 to the mix in a big way,” he said, adding that the lab came about after Microsoft had approached the University of Missouri and other campuses around the country about launching these spaces.

Microsoft appears to be making a push toward colleges and universities with its Windows 8 launch this fall. The company had previously announced a partnership with Seton Hall University, in which the school is giving all incoming freshmen Windows 8 devices as well as Windows Phones.

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