Our resident Live@Edu and Office 365 expert, James Marshall, gives his take on the announcements made at BETT 2011.
As the dust settles after the annual BETT exhibition, and Olympia returns to normal I always make some time to look through the various forums and blogs that comment on the big announcements of the year. The big one for me was all the great news that came out about Microsoft Office 365 for education, and how it’s going to take our cloud services for education to the next level.
My favourite statistic was that over 15 million students are using Microsoft Live@edu worldwide – up on 11 million only three months ago.
Of course, sometimes it’s difficult to speak to every person individually at shows like BETT and so I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm a few things…
The key thing to note is that nothing that we currently offer in Live@edu will be charged for in Office 365 for education. Live@edu email is hosted by Exchange Online and is the free Exchange Plan 1 in the world of Office 365 for education. All that changes is the inbox size grows from 10GB to 25GB, all still free.
The Windows Live SkyDrive service with Microsoft Office Web Apps that Live@edu customers currently use will still be available as a free service. If customers want the Office Web Apps in their SharePoint Online environment there are charges for staff but students get this feature for free. SharePoint Online is a feature we do not offer today in Live@edu so it is difficult to make comparisons but we are confident that the total cost of ownership of Office 365 for education will be much lower than providing the same level of service on-premise.
The prices we announced at BETT are $USD estimated retail prices for new customers. Our pricing for Office 365 for education for existing customers of our School and Campus Agreement programme (which will migrate to EES) has not been announced; however, we will take into account the schools/colleges existing investments. Finally, you’ll be able to mix and match between the different packages, for example: all students on plan A2, some staff on A2 and others on A4.
Remember, you can still register for Live@edu today by visiting the LIve@edu website and following the Enrol Your School link.