update The University of Sydney has decided to move its around 46,000 students over to Microsoft Exchange-based email.
Students received mail earlier this month asking them to log themselves into the new Microsoft email, which the university is dubbing "Sydney Mail", in preparation for the old email being terminated at the end of the year. Around 46,000 students were enrolled at the university last year.
Students were able to contact Microsoft personnel for a limited two-week period if they had trouble signing up.
The new email gives students a 10GB mail quota, allowing attachments of up to 20MB. Students will have access to Skydrive, Windows Live ID Profile, calendaring and access to contact lists. The university has also set up a process to transfer existing emails from the previous in-house mail to the new account.
According to the university's site, the email account will be free as will access to Skydrive and Windows Live Help. The site said, however, that MSN and Office Live Spaces services would be charged at $20 per GB.
Students had to agree to Microsoft terms and conditions to sign up, one of which being that the agreement would fall under Singaporean law since the contract was with Microsoft's Singapore office.
An alternative to the Microsoft system would have been Google's Gmail, which universities such as Macquarie University and the University of Adelaide have adopted. Other universities that have adopted the Microsoft email system have been the University of NSW and the University of Queensland.
The university's ICT director of services management Mark Pigot said that the Google and Microsoft offerings were both competitive and their teams were helpful.
"Microsoft were chosen based on a range of services being a better fit for the university's requirements at our decision point, but both Microsoft's and Google's features are tending to leapfrog each other in this area," Pigot said.
Pigot said that the university's general counsel had worked with Microsoft to make sure that any issues about international jurisdictions were satisfactorily addressed in the terms of agreement between the university and Microsoft. Student representative bodies were also directly and fully involved in the decision making process.