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Microsoft Turns a Minecraft Mod Into an Education Business

Microsoft is getting serious about Minecraft in schools, and it means the end of one notable offshoot of the game's freewheeling culture.
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Teachers in thousands of schools in dozens of countries use the video game Minecraft to teach subjects from math to English to computer programming through MinecraftEdu. They use a modified version of the game first made in 2011 by an independent group of teachers and computer programmers. Microsoft is validating their work by turning MinecraftEdu into the centerpiece of its own business plans for Minecraft as an educational tool. But MinecraftEdu's creators aren't coming along for the ride. 

Now Microsoft is buying the MinecraftEdu franchise.

Microsoft is as excited as the other giants of the technology industry to gain a foothold in schools. Since Minecraft is that rare product considered both potentially educational and fun, the company sees a big opportunity here.