(Sharing my blog post today from the Official Microsoft Blog)

Today, I’m pleased to announce that more than 22 million people now use Live@edu, representing a 100 percent year-over-year increase. That’s more than 27,000 new people signing up every day, making Live@edu the most widely used cloud productivity service for education. New schools using Live@edu include: U.S. institutions such as Southern State Community College in Ohio, New Mexico State, Florida State, University of Colorado at Boulder; Kings College London and Royal National College for the Blind, located in the United Kingdom; the Bahrain Ministry of Education and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education in the Middle East.

Just as cloud computing is changing the world of work, it’s having a profound impact in education, and it’s changing the landscape of learning. Academia is often an early adopter of new technologies, and I’m seeing schools around the globe lead the way in the transition to the cloud and digital learning environments.

While the rise of digital content creates huge opportunities for immersive learning environments and access to ubiquitous computing devices anytime, anywhere… the impact and the need for cloud integration is growing, and Live@edu, Microsoft’s free hosted collaboration and communications service, helps schools get there faster.

As the popularity of Live@edu continues to grow, schools such as Georgia State University, Dundee University in Scotland, East Norfolk Sixth Form College in England, the Inzai City Board of Education and Wakayama City Board of Education in Japan are benefiting from Office 365, Microsoft’s next generation cloud productivity service. Office 365 combines the power of Office with the capabilities of enterprise-class cloud services used by the world’s leading companies – and includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

Office 365 for education will include everything available in Office 365 for enterprises, helping teachers save time and manage their curricula while giving students access to tools that make learning more inspiring, relevant and collaborative. Schools can benefit from Exchange Online today by signing up for Live@edu. Microsoft is also onboarding qualified education customers to Office 365 in order to take advantage of Exchange Online and Lync Online. We will add SharePoint Online capabilities in 2012 when Office 365 for education is broadly available.

There’s no question the cloud has become an important asset for schools and universities. It enhances the educational experience and fosters 24/7 learning across multiple devices, while enabling skills development to help students prepare for their futures.