India hires Microsoft in 'largest cloud deployment ever'

India hires Microsoft in 'largest cloud deployment ever'

Summary: India has hired Microsoft to roll-out student cloud email services to 7 million students in the country; thought to be the world's largest cloud deployment to date.


Microsoft has been hired by India's body for education development as its largest cloud customer to date, as part of efforts to modernise the country's schools and reduce IT costs.

Microsoft's Live@edu service will be rolled out to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. It will be available to more than 7 million students, and half a million faculty members.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Microsoft made the announcement today ahead of the launch, which will take three months to deploy. A full deployment is expected by summer 2012.

Live@edu is a free service for colleges and universities, allowing tens of millions of students worldwide to access Outlook-powered email, storage space, and document collaboration tools, including Office Web Apps and SkyDrive.

The service comes ahead of a deployment of Microsoft's Office 365 for education, which comes later this year. Microsoft currently has more than 22 million people using the student-focused service.

AICTE sought the services also of IBM and Google, which has a competing Google Apps for Education service, but settled on Microsoft as the choice for the largest cloud deployment ever made. Some colleges and universities had avoided Google's services citing reasons of lacking security, "unacceptable privacy levels", and reduced control over user data.

India's rapid economic activity and growth means the country needs to stay ahead of its game. Globally, Indian students will go on to define the next-generation technology industry, as the country continues to be a powerhouse for innovation and advancements.

Outsourcing of communications has been paramount to colleges and universities, particularly in the wake of the 2008--2010 global economic recession, which saw academic budgets cut in some cases by as much as half, and a rise in tuition fees to offset the balance in the UK and the United States.


    Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software, Social Enterprise

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    • If Google had won ...

      ... you wouldn't have heard the end of it. Congrats MS!
      P. Douglas
      • Congrats for what

        This is just India rewarding Microsoft for all those American jobs they outsourced to them.
        • Wow Scorpio!!

          Whats your source for this alleged backdoor deal? Are you part of the Microsoft board or are you part of the Indian Parliament? If neither, then please keep your comments to yourself
        • Wow @DontBeEvil!!

          India is the world's leader of outsourced jobs. Microsoft is one of the biggest leaders in IT. Does it really take rocket science to explain that to you? To explain the connection?

          And no, I won't keep my comment to myself.
        • Then, India must be rewarding MS for the thousands of other companies

          that are outsourcing jobs to India.

          You make no sense, and you're anti-MS mind-set is getting the best of you. Now, if it had been Apple instead of Microsoft, you would have stated something along the line of "well-deserved" about the contract, and you would not have even mentioned the outsourcing and offshoring being done by Apple. Fairness must be a word very unfamiliar to you.
        • Go back to your teabagging, @adornoe

          It suits you well.
        • Hey, Scorpio, you sound like your mother hasn't changed your diaper in more

          than a day, and it's irritating you too much.

          BTW, hasn't your mom warned you about continuing to annoy the grown-ups?

          Now, go back to your WII and leave the grown-ups along, or just go ride your little tricycle in the freeway.
        • @adornoe the fascist sieg hiels again

          Along with his toetapping pals Larry Craig and Ted Haggard.

          Hey @adornoe, glad to hear you got your toetapping routine down. Just let us know where you're at so we can have the police charge you all for perverted solicitation.

    • In related future news...

      .. The Indian State Security Bureau reports a massive breach of security in it's educational security division. Hackers gained access to the system and set back India efforts by many years. A patch to fix the problem was to be made available in next Tuesday's weekly patch rounds, but the damage was already done. The head of India Technology Institute said, "Our students will just have to take their classes over again next year."
      Tony Burzio
      • Emotional and not logical post

        First, patch tuesday doesn't apply to Microsoft Cloud technologies, that appies to on premise systems.

        Second, where hasn't a hacker gained access and what OS/Cloud techology will keep this from happening guarenteed?

        Third, If you can't say something nice.... I'm betting you already have heard the rest many times before, but still don't take the advice.

        I think it's pretty cool for Microsoft and their edu stuff. It will give them a chance to really develop out new technologies for education and solidify their cloud offering at a huge scale.
        • Did it not happen?

          [i]Third, If you can't say something nice.... I'm betting you already have heard the rest many times before, but still don't take the advice.[/i]

          Was it not a fact what Burzio said?

          If it's true then it needs to be put out there. Dat simple.
        • It wasn't fact.

          as [i]First, patch tuesday doesn't apply to Microsoft Cloud technologies, that appies to on premise systems[/i]

          So I guess it wasn't fact at all
          William Farrel
        • @Tard

          And you still haven't disproved Burzio. The Microsoft sale pitch doesn't count.
      • I wouldn't worry about that Tony as the only way you'd hear that

        is if they switched to using Google.
        William Farrel
    • Good marketing

      Most small and medium scale businesses in India use Google Apps service. I have not seen them ever complaining about any aspect of service. Most of them have option of Microsoft and Yahoo services, and still they choose Google Apps. Most important aspect is reliability.

      Microsoft is very good in lobbying, creating brand illusion and overall good marketing. Once product is sold then most people realise that it is sub-optimal experience. You have to pay additional for every small feature which was initially sold as bundled at the point of selling. But then it is too late for revising the decision.

      Google has its fingers in too many things. They build one of the most reliable products, but they are not good at marketing. They have free and paid version of Google Apps; so people have perception about its privacy aspects.

      Google app works very well with existing MS products such as Outlook and MS Office. But that option is overlooked in most cases. People either love Gmail web interface or love MS Outlook. In reality if an organisation uses Google Apps, they can keep web interface and desktop applications (Outlook or Open source alternatives) both, providing choice to their users.

      One more aspect about India. When it comes to decision by various government organisations, they engage into deal with commercial organisation through some reciprocal agreements. Microsoft is very good at lobbying whereas Google does not, and that reflects into Microsoft grabbing deals whereas Google not.
      • Please site your evidence

        India is a big country, so I'm surprised to see your claim that "most" small and medium businesses there use Google and never complain about any aspect of the service. Call me skeptical that any part of that comment is true.
        • Partially Right

          Being an entrerprenuer and a comming from a traditionall business background and based out of India , i can vouch for his comment . If not most , majority of SMEs use Google apps and are happy with the service it provides.
          Guess i can provide you stats but i have been to enough places and enough business event to know that.
      • MS has good marketing?

        Your argument falls flat on it's face with your headline.
      • Google has plenty lobbyists

        Google is a profit making corporation like any other. If you think Google will sit behind the lines while MS, Facebook, Amazon use lobbyists then you are sorely mistaken.
    • bad choice

      only FOSS empowers the students!
      The Linux Geek