Microsoft to add SharePoint access to Live@edu

Microsoft to add SharePoint access to Live@edu

Summary: Paving the way for its Office Web Apps rollout, Microsoft is adding SharePoint Online to the services it offers students and academics as part of its Live@edu offering. The SharePoint Online service should be available to Live@edu subscribers for no additional cost some time next year.

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Paving the way for its Office Web Apps rollout, Microsoft is adding SharePoint Online to the services it offers students and academics as part of its Live@edu offering.

Microsoft made the announcement at the Educause conference in Denver, according to a posting on the Live@edu blog. The SharePoint Online service should be available to Live@edu subscribers for no additional cost some time next year.

Microsoft officials played up both the collaboration and conferencing capabilities and the Office Web Apps access as being behind the planned addition. Students and educators are a big audience for Google Docs and expected to be one of Microsoft's biggest group of initial adopters of Office Web Apps.

From the November 3 Live@edu blog post:

"In conjunction with the Live@edu program, we will be bringing a solution to market for students, based on SharePoint Online, for free. So what does that mean? Well, lets look at some possibilities:

"* Work with a class group on a research assignment – documents, background research, project plans can all be stored online and worked on from anywhere. "* Office Web Apps support means that a user can access Office files on almost any machine to simply view the content, or to make essential modifications. "* Microsoft Office integration ensures they get a rich, integrated experience with SharePoint Online and the Office Web Apps, if required… and of course offline access to files."

Microsoft officials have said they plan to offer three different modes of distribution for Office Web Apps -- Microsoft's Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- due out by mid-2010. There will be a free, consumer-focused version that will be accessible via Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive service. There also will be two paid versions for business customers: A Microsoft-hosted version and an on-premises, user-hosted version. The two hosted versions will require SharePoint/SharePoint Online as part of the back-end infrastructure.

Microsoft already offers hosted Exchange email, among other Microsoft services, to Live@edu subscribers. The Exchange Online version for students/academics is known as "Outlook Live." There's no word yet on how Microsoft will rebrand the SharePoint Online offering that will be available via Live@edu. (Hat tip to Network World for the heads-up on the SharePoint and Live@edu news.)

Topics: Enterprise Software, Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • This is good

    My Organization rolled out Live@edu for it's students primarily as an email client so that kids can safely email their teachers and communicate safely without the risk of opening up general email. This allowed us to create accounts based off their ID number and now teachers can easily know who the email is coming from and easily determine what student they want to email. The other features such as SkyDrive are becoming increasingly popular and I have had many teachers sign up for a LiveID so they can use the skydrive too. The seem to like the extra online storage and not have to carry a flash drive everywhere and if they are off the network they can get their documents easily online. The addition of the Office Web Apps is a plus as many students just need basic office applications and do not have access to the office suite. We are also planning on using the plug-in to integrate Live@Edu with Moodle to offer even more of a collaboration experience between our teachers and students. I think Microsoft has done a great think with this Live@Edu for education and from what I have seen makes it all very easy to offer extra services to our students for free and safely and easily from anywhere there is an internet connection.
    bobiroc
    • RE: Microsoft to add SharePoint access to Live@edu

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  • Google is gonna have their butts kicked....

    Their perpetual beta offerings just doesn't measure up to the defacto world standard...They should just remain with search while they're ahead. Bing is going to bury Google in the next two years...
    transposeIT
  • re sharepoint for non-sharepoint users?

    when i looked at sharepoint two or three years ago, i thought it looked real good.

    BUT users without sharepoint could not use the sharepoint forms etc.

    what is the situation now?
    hansonjb
    • Forms and SharePoint

      SharePoint 2007 allows either 1) browser based InfoPath forms to be published to a form library or 2) ASP.NET forms embedded into the page.

      InfoPath forms can be created quickly and easily by most users- it's an office application, like word or excel, but for building forms.

      ASP.NET allows for more flexibility and programmability. But either solution is browser based, so you don't need anything special.

      This is for the commercial SharePoint package - the Live version may not include the same functionality. I hope they do though - forms + workflow = people building their own solutions.
      crazydanr
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