Microsoft making inroads against Google Apps for Education

Although Microsoft's Live@Edu collaboration tools are only in use at about a third of the universities claimed by Google Apps for Education (2000 vs. 6000), Microsoft is rolling out new features to make it's Exchange- and Office-based products more competitive.

Although Microsoft's Live@Edu collaboration tools are only in use at about a third of the universities claimed by Google Apps for Education (2000 vs. 6000), Microsoft is rolling out new features to make it's Exchange- and Office-based products more competitive.

According to eWeek,

An alternative to the education editions of Google Apps and Yahoo's Zimbra e-mail service, Microsoft Live@edu includes Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft Office Live Workspace and Windows Live SkyDrive online storage, which lets users share documents and photos.

Students can use these tools to communicate with each other and teachers through e-mail and instant messaging. Students also can use Live@edu to complete coursework solo or to collaborate on group projects using the Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications in Office Live Workspace.

By 2010, Microsoft is planning to roll out an Exchange-based alternative to Hotmail: "Exchange is a richer platform than Hotmail, [so] it represents a more competitive offering than the Google platform."

Is Live@Edu a Google Apps killer? Probably not, but the more competition in this field, the better, for students and faculty who increasingly rely on the cloud to collaborate and get work done.