Chris Alexander

On Engineering


A Microsoft solution for collaboration and communication on-campus

11th January, 2009

Live@Edu is a Microsoft service that leverages the Windows Live platform to enable Universities to distribute free, branded e-mail and collaboration services to their students.

There is a choice between Windows Live Hotmail and Exchange Labs as the hosted e-mail solution; much like the Prayer service works today, it’s hosted online and based on the Hotmail you’re used to - but with some twists. Current students don’t seen ads, there’s up to 10 gig of storage, and they come with sharable calanders too.What’s more interesting is the inclusion of online collaboration software - Office Live Workspaces (beta), where you can upload, store and share over 1,000 Office documents (and comes with a handy Office plugin). There’s also Windows Live Skydrive for uploading and sharing files with people around the world; the Microsoft SharedView screen sharing beta is also included, along with Windows Live Spaces wrapping up the social aspects.

As this wasn’t enough for your students, Windows Live Messenger is thrown into the bundle, as well as SMS, E-mail and IM alerts through Windows Live Alerts, and a mobile service to make all this content accessible on-the-go. For Universities, its free.

Live@edu seems like a very interesting prospect - despite not being fantastically keen on the Hotmail interface myself, I would much prefer that over the hideous Prayer interface we currently are tortured with. I can see how the collaboration tools would help, but I think this wouldn’t be suitable for courses like Blackboard is - I would recommend for that. Skydrive has got to be an improvement over the pathetic files tool that Blackboard has included. If the University were to move their data to the cloud, I would highly recommend this Microsoft solution - however only if paired with for course collaboration.