Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will migrate some 40,000 student user accounts to Microsoft’s Live@edu hosted messaging and storage platform providing an alternative to the successful Google Apps education surge.
According to Microsoft, QUT joins “thousands of institutions around the world” by moving to the Live@edu platform, but the news of such deals has been mostly of Google's equivalent offering, including a recent Adelaide University win.
The Live@edu suite of online applications includes Microsoft Outlook Live, Microsoft Office Live Workspace and SkyDrive for storage.
QUT evaluated a hosted, Web-based e-mail solution for students when existing email infrastructure “reached its limit of functionality and storage capacity”.
So much for in-house IT expenditure.
According to Microsoft, the decision to go with Live@edu is the result of discussions among students, university administration and company representatives, and the deal included an opt-in trial involving students from the Faculty of Information Technology.
By its own admission, Live@edu is compatible with "Windows, Mac and Linux machines" and with the IE, Firefox and Safari browsers.
At QUT, deputy vice chancellor for the division of technology, information and learning support, professor Tom Cochrane, said the university “carefully considered” various options and was pleased to offer students a “greatly improved” e-mail service through Microsoft.
“The Live@edu service offers our students the advantage of a greatly increased mailbox capacity and attachment file size, a useful calendar, plus a number of improvements in related services, while retaining their identity as QUT students in their e-mail addresses,” Cochrane said.
“The University will benefit by having automated service upgrades, and better scalability and availability by deploying this software as a service offering from Microsoft.”
During the current semester, QUT’s 40,000 students will also have access to a suite of online applications.
The Live@edu service will host student e-mail accounts with a 10Gb mailbox capacity, and allow 20Mb file attachments, in addition to calendaring and contact management.
Other features available include instant messaging and file sharing; Windows Live Spaces for personal Web publishing, blogging and photo sharing; and FolderShare, a private peer-to-peer network that allows users to synchronise files between multiple devices and share files with other student users.
The Live@edu e-mail addresses can be retained by students after they graduate.