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02 April 2012, 16:34

Blackboard starts offering support for open source competitors

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Course management software company Blackboard has acquired the two leading support companies behind their open source competitor Moodle: NetSpot and Moodlerooms. The company has also hired one of the founders of Sakai, another open source alternative to its own commercial software platform.

Previously, the company has disbanded competitors it has purchased or has integrated their solutions into its own software stack, but that is not what says it plans for NetSpot and Moodlerooms: Ray Henderson, president of the Blackboard teaching and learning division, announced that the company will now start offering commercial support for Moodle to complement its own product offerings.

Furthermore, Blackboard said that it will continue to maintain the ANGEL course management platform it bought three years ago and plans to integrate some of its features into Moodle. Blackboard and the two companies it acquired have signed a statement of principles that pledges "continued code contributions" for products supported by the companies and promises continued support for open standards.

The company also announced that it has hired Charles Severance, one of the founders of the open source learning platform Sakai, another Blackboard competitor. Together with the support teams from Moodlerooms and NetSpot, Severance will form part of a new Open Source Services group within the company.


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