After a swathe of universities announced deals with Microsoft for its free Live@edu hosted email, Monash University has said it will provide the rival Gmail service to its 58,000 students instead.
Students will be given sign up details for their new Google accounts next month, according to Monash University's vice-chancellor professor Edward Byrne. The students would also be informed on how to use other online tools that Google Applications offered.
"We want to give students the best online tools on offer in order to boost their communication and information sharing capabilities and in terms of our e-technology capital, we are giving the university plenty of room to grow in the future," Byrne said.
Storage would increase to 7GB from the current 40MB each user is allocated. Students will also be able to chat, integrate email with online calendar as well as work collaboratively with fellow students on shared documents.
Alumni might also get access to the service, Byrne said, with the university currently looking into the possibility. There was no mention of using the email service for its 7000 staff.
Lately, Microsoft has been named by universities as their email partner, despite Macquarie University (one of the first Australian universities to take the plunge) opting for Gmail.
In the last year, WA TAFE, Curtin University, University of NSW, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, the Australian Catholic University, the University of Canberra, Victoria University and the Queensland University of Technology have all decided to go with the software company's Live@edu product.
On the other side of the scale, the Universities of Adelaide, Auckland, Macquarie University and the NSW Department of Education have publicly opted for Gmail.
Monash University did not state its reasons for deciding to implement Google's product instead of Microsoft's.