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Today we are pleased to announce that more students than ever are using Live@edu, the world's leading cloud suite for education. Live@edu is used by more than 15M students worldwide, up from 11M just three months ago. In addition, we are sharing more information about Office 365 for education, our next generation cloud productivity service for schools and universities. Building upon on our success with Live@edu, Office 365 for education now delivers even more capabilities for students, enabling us to deliver on our commitment to schools and universities like never before. With the release of Office 365 later this year, students will now have access to Lync Online free of charge. This means easy collaboration on assignments and instant team meetings as well as IM, voice and even video chat with the click of a button. Additionally, presence information now begins to show up throughout, so students can see at a glance if a colleague is available and get things done quicker.
That's not all. Students will now also have access to SharePoint Online; you guessed it, for free! SharePoint Online allows students to securely upload, share and collaborate on documents, including in-place editing access (with Office Web Apps) from anywhere with internet access, whether that is the dorm, library, on the go or at home for the holidays. And as the world of social networking becomes increasingly prevalent in our lives, SharePoint Online delivers MySites. Using their personal sites, students can organize, track and easily share classroom and course information, interests, expertise and most importantly, keep in touch with the lives of their classmates.
But it doesn't end there. We designed Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online to work together, but not all schools have the ability to deliver this powerful platform to their students. So today we are also announcing the availability of the Office Desktop software for just $2 per student per month. This completes our productivity picture for institutions, providing students the tools they need to be successful, both today in their studies and later in the workplace.
In the following video, Jon Perera, General Manager of Education Strategy, discusses this evolution and provides more details about today's announcement on Office 365 for education.
-Allen, Office 365 Product Manager
Office 365 for Education
Office 365 Virtual Pressroom
@Allen_MSFT: Does this mean the current staff that have live accounts through our domain (firstname.lastname@example.org) will no longer be able to access their content on skydrive ect..?
@Allen_MSFT: Thanks for your response, it was helpful. I think we actually have Exchange Online for our email service since we see the Outlook Web App when were logged in.
@stachowskik - You have Exchange 2010 since Exchange Online which is based on Exchange 2010 that comes with Outlook Web App is not yet available to the general public.
@Allen: Thank you so much for your patience with these questions. I've continued thinking about this since my last post. It would be really helpful if you would continue to allow the Office 365 and Windows Live account to be linked. The linking of passwords between the two services is very helpful, so that our users don' t need to continue maintaining two passwords. And using OWA instead of Hotmail eliminates the confusion of having two email accounts for the same user. So, it would be really helpful if Office 365 would continue to create a Windows Live ID whenever you create an Office 365 account. Plus, it would drive more users to Live services and help familiarize them with the options. Most of our users who access the Live services through Live@edu have never tried out anything besides Hotmail (if that), and in training, most are pretty impressed with the options available through Live.
@shoemake: we have not finalized all the data migration specifics, although we as a company do not delete customer information. We will either migrate that data to a sharepoint location or keep the account, but with either a linked or separate login.
@techieg: Not exactly, Exchange Online is available to the public right now, with Exchange Online 2007. It was made available with BPOS and also Live@edu, which his school runs.
@soundbite: Thanks for the feedback. I'll first say, that I am glad that your students are really enjoying the Live services we provide with Live@edu. We have found that once they use them, they are quite satisfied. That being said, the options in Office 365 are far superior, and although there may be another learning curve, it should be small.
@Allen - Yes, I know Exchange Online has been available commercial for a while and as I know which is what you said it is based on Exchange 2007. I use it everyday. But I said Exchange Online based on Exchange 2010, which somes with Office Web Apps is not yet available which is what comes with Office365.
Can anyone point me in the direction of some empirical research that concludes that live@edu improved student learning outcomes? Significantly? Sure, the capacity was there for those who persisted but I suspect that this new offering being promoted as student-centric and student friendly when it might be a "business-oriented" entity in reality.
How might this benefit the little child in the classroom e.g. 7 years old?
7yr olds rarely need to collaborate or use messagin features but if they do they have Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online for that, which is also customizable, compared to not having anything at all or some other more expensive option that comes as is. And while at it, your school saves since these are free for students, you also save by moving faculty and staff mailbox to Exchange Online even if you do not enable SharePoint Online and Lync Online for them. These are viable reasons in my opinion since all you may end up needing onsite is a single server to host your Line of Business applications (if you have not moved those to the cloud already) and perhaps Active Directory (which can also be federated with this service so users only sign in once), file/printer sharing, etc.
No one has answered the question on the ILM yes or no? Is it needed to provide the SSO or is there a cheaper alternative. I for one can not afford ILM, but then again I've heard there is now a new pricing model for school in the UK (not sure about others) where only our staff who work 200+ hours (Full time - cleaners not included) are multiplied by the cost of £30-33. This gives all students and staff access to office for this one price, I assume the pricing for ILM would be available using this model as well?
I looked at Outlook Sync options and installed Powershell so I could do what was in the notes previously for the Live@Edu system and got a connection working, but without ILM I am right in saying unless Microsoft come out with a solution other than ILM we are looking at doing it all by hand/CSV files?
@John: If you are referring to this question:
"Regarding the single sign-on--so, no more need for ILS, not need for users to enter their Outlook 2007 password when Outlook starts because it uses the logon credentials, and the online password will be updated whenever the on-premises user updates their account? That would be great if all these things are true! What tools will we be using for this? Federation Services? My internal domain is a ".local" domain."
I hate to sound ignorant, but I'm not sure exactly what ILM is. We do support SSO with Office 365, and the connector is not longer required in the way it was with BPOS. Outlook will pick up the profile based on the login information, and this will federate with the cloud also so your credentials will exist into the browser. Check out this post, there are 3 videos that talk about SSO, federation, ADFS and more. community.office365.com/.../teched-europe-wrapup.aspx
@Allan - How does/will BPOS/Office365 qualify for e-Rate or does it qualify for it? A detailed response will be very much appreciated.
@Techieg: thanks for the question. I don't really have any information to share here. The only details we've announced for schools are the one in the video above.
After reading more about Office 365 I'm contemplating on migrating a private college over to this instead of Google since all they use is Office applications. The thing is, they are a private college but are accredited and have an .edu address. The thing is, they don't really need to give students access to stuff like their own email, etc. It is a nice feature, but not sure if they really need to implement it. I see it is $14/mo for educators to get all the features, but would it be best if they just went with the Small Business feature set because it is only $6/mo?
@Breakingcustom: First off, students are free, not $6 per month or $14. Watch the video above for the prices. Faculty and staff get basic email, calendaring and contacts free, and then academic discounts on all the remaining services. I would suggest you check out Live@edu today. Live@edu is our current offering for schools, free to both students and staff and will role into Office 365 after launch. www.microsoft.com/.../free-email-accounts.aspx
@Allen_MSFT: First of all thank you for answering all of these questions, your answers are reassuring to say the least!
Now for some questions. We currently use on campus Exchange and are going to add Sharepoint, and other features for our Employees (Faculty and Staff) and we are also using Live@edu for students only.
So my question is since we do not have any employees using Live@edu, will we need to pay for any of the current services we have? (Email, Skydrive, Office Web Apps, etc.), or will these continue to be free for all students without us taking any other action?
Also is it possible for us to purchase copies of Office 2010 for student systems? Will the $2 per student still be an option, and is this a onetime charge of $2, or $2 each month per student? We already have copies of Office 2010 for employees, so we would not need to enroll in any of the plans for our employees.
Thanks in advance!