The Australian Catholic University this semester moved to Microsoft's Live@edu web-hosted email system for its around 17,000 students.
The university reviewed both Google and Microsoft, according to its website. At the end of the review, it decided there was a good case to implement either system, so asked the students what they wanted.
The university conducted a pilot survey with both mail programs, asking questions about the programs and published the results. There wasn't any information on how many students had participated in the pilot.
Live@edu got better results on most of the questions such as "please rate the email user interface" or "did you receive any spam during testing".
The only questions where Gmail matched the Microsoft option, but did not better it, were "Did you have the option of customising the look and feel of the email interface? If so please rate ease of use" and "Did you have any issues accessing your email during the trial".
The university decided that Microsoft was the "clear winner" of the trial. It pointed out that other universities such as the University of Queensland have also opted for the Live@edu system, "so there appears to be a trend in favour of the Microsoft service".
The new hosted mail was being offered instead of, not alongside, the university's old service which would be switched off. The old mailboxes would be available until next year, but students wouldn't be able to send or receive mail using the old system. The university had not arranged for data to be automatically migrated between accounts.
The new mail accounts would include 10GB of storage, and students wouldn't be bombarded with banner advertising, the university said on its website.