Hot off the newswire today, Microsoft Exchange Labs which previously provides an Exchange service to Live@edu users, used by hundreds of universities around the world, has been named Outlook Live.
Now, don't think for a second that it's just a new name, therefore a new fad, because it's not. It'd part of Live@edu still and has been customised for students for better thinking, easier access and better support.
It now offers multi-browser support, including Firefox and Safari. It also has a conversation view, which enables you to view email sent and received between people in a conversation "to-and-fro" fashion, allowing you to save space and reduce confusion. Finally, and most exciting of the features, an integrated instant messaging system and presence, which works with Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Office Communicator.
It's like being in your very own professional enterprise, and it's all for free.
I spoke to an awfully nice Microsoft spokesperson earlier on about this and it's something I can honestly say, that Microsoft is doing right for once. From their press release:
"Microsoft Corp. today announced several universities and institutions of higher learning have recently signed on to Microsoft Live@edu, signifying continued worldwide growth of this service. With enhanced collaboration and communications features, Live@edu is a no-charge suite that enhances student productivity in both the classroom and their personal lives.
In addition, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Exchange Labs, which currently delivers rich e-mail functionality as a service to 3.5 million Live@edu users, will be renamed Outlook Live. The Outlook Live service will also be extended to support faculty and staff members at no charge."
Universities and entire governments have taken on the new software as a breath of fresh air, working in conjunction with the infrastructure universities already have in place.
Live@edu also works with Office Live Workspace, an online area to share and store documents (it's crap, stick with Google Docs or Acrobat.com), Windows Live SkyDrive which holds 25GB of online storage, and now Outlook Live just finishes off the entire deal.