This afternoon at IT Forum, we ran two specific sessions for UK education customers. Brad Tipp, from our worldwide Education team kicked off talking about the Live @ Edu service - something that is currently going through a metamorphosis. What started as an email service for students (similar to Hotmail, but linked to your institution's email domain), is growing into a wider range of student online services, which supplement or replace services that you are delivering to students through your own infrastructure. The benefit is that you can deliver new services at no or low cost to you.
We're moving to a "software plus services" world, where we are developing a mix of software on a device, supplemented by Internet-based services. It changes the way that you can think about providing services, and the scope and reach of them. For example, research shows that 85%+ of students arrive in the first year at University with a computer. And despite the fact that the majority are laptops, they remain in the students' bedrooms - they don't get brought onto campus. What our research shows is that your students put their critical work files on a memory stick, and carry that around campus with them - plugging it into your terminals. What happens if they lose that memory stick? Or it corrupts? Or if it has a virus on it?
The basic features of Live @ Edu are:
What has now been added are the storage options - SkyDrive and Office Live Workspace - plus a computer sharing option called Shared View.
Brad summarised by telling us that there are over 5 million university students using Live @ Edu, across 30 countries. In the UK, there are around a dozen universities signed up to us it. And gave key reasons for exploring the service:
Find out more at edu.live.com