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UQ inks massive hosted Exchange deal

The University of Queensland has announced that its 38,000 university students will be moving to a hosted Microsoft email system.

The University of Queensland (UQ) has announced that its 38,000 university students will be moving to a hosted Microsoft email system.

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The university has signed an agreement with Microsoft to move to the free Live@edu Exchange Labs hosted email, which allows mailboxes to store up to 10GB, and attachments to reach up to 20MB. Currently, the student mail boxes have a limit of 100MB.

"UQ will be the first university in Australia to move to the system, which gives students a new, more user-friendly, name-based email address to replace the current 'studentnumber@uq.edu.au' format," UQ's director of Information Technology Services Nick Tate said in a statement.

Moving to the hosted email, which is scheduled to be up and running by the first semester of 2009, also means that the students don't have to give up their email address at the end of their time at the university.

Tate said students would benefit from extra features, although he did not specify which features these were. Other features in Live@edu include Hotmail, Microsoft Office Live Workspace and Windows Live SkyDrive online storage, according to Microsoft.

"Another plus is that Microsoft systems are updated at a rate in-house systems cannot compete with," Tate said.

The new email system will be integrated into UQ's student portal, according to Tate, which along with user guides and training should make for an easier transition for students.

After the students have been migrated to the Live@edu mail system, UQ intended to extend the system to the university's alumni. The number of University alumni was not specified.

The news has come at a time as other universities have opted for the Google hosted mail system, including Macquarie University in Sydney and New Zealand's largest university the University of Auckland.

Tate was unavailable for comment on the system and why the University of Queensland chose the Microsoft email system over Google's alternative, or what email system was previously used.