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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: ILM = Identity Lifecycle Manager (2007 FP1) is Microsoft's previous identity management solution (ILM is in it's turn based on the product MIIS 2003...), which now is "replaced" by FIM 2010 (Forefront Identity Manager).
FIM 2010 is (afaik) at present not supported to use with Office 365.
ILM is within Office 365-nomenclature known as/called DirSync.
Regarding ILM and present Office 365 offering, the product is "kind of free" since one can download and install it from the Portal, but it has to run on a dedicated non-x64-Windows Server (i.e WS 2003 or WS2008 x86), and its designed to work only with Office 365 (that is: do any tinkering with it, and you're in a unsupported mode).
I don't know but I'm (as probably many other Identity/AD-guys and gals here) very interested to know if "Office 365 for Education" will use a similar infrastructural setup for SSO/Rich Coexistence as the "ordinary" Office 365:
- AD FS 2.0
- DirSync (ILM)
- Coexistence Exchange 2010 SP1
or if there will be some other (products/methods) to enable SSO/Rich Coexistence ?
So, basically, it's like, your students can start SharePoint sites and do file-sharing and videoconferencing and chat, but they just can't talk to any faculty or staff.
Like students are going to create and use SharePoint sites without the faculty...? Like I'm supposed to rely on my students to create Windows Live accounts with their Live@Edu addresses? Ooooookayyyy...yeahhh...
Well. Obviously, we all know that the students and teachers need to be on the same platform, or everything is dysfunctional. The difference is that, whereas before we were all free on the Windows Live platform, we have to get everyone on the same platform tomorrow. That's where Microsoft is looking to make a little extra cash here. "Drive them crazy being on two different programs until they just cave in and buy our services."
Seriously, I just don't think you guys get it. So we're a little private school school with 100 faculty and staff. We have to go from $0 per year (was supposed to be free, remember?) to $12,000 per year to have everyone on the same platform and with the same functionality (current functionality includes document collaboration and instant messaging through Windows Live and automatic provisioning of Windows Live accounts). Sheesh. My entire annual IT budget wouldn't even cover the $12,000 in new Office 365 fees. I guess Microsoft thinks "school" = "100,000-student state university with million-dollar IT budgets". They are charging us non-profits even more than they're charging the small businesses. Small businesses get Office Web Apps at $6 per month, and we little struggling schools trying to *produce* the next generation of small business entrepreneurs and the Bill Gateses (and Allens) of the world have to pay $10 for the same product. And that, I suppose, is probably the point--they care about small businesses and give them a discount, but they don't really care that much if small schools fold up shop and go somewhere else. Or they're hoping they got their hooks in deep enough by now that they'll drag us bleeding all over the playground and into the bully's corner. If you're a small school, you're not a big enough fish for them to really care about you, I guess.
I can't tell you how mind-numbingly frustrating this is. I can't believe this is happening.
I'm so thankful that the Microsoft software licensing model isn't following this same trend, or we'd be paying *more* than small businesses for our software. (Actually, we wouldn't do that--we'd all just be stuck with open source, and our students would never even touch a Windows computer any time in their schooling--and then they'd go on to build businesses on the same tech infrastructure and Microsoft *would* be out of business--you can count on that!)
Well, I've definitely been had. Thanks a lot, guys. You've officially stamped "LOSER" right across my forehead. I guess I should start writing my resignation letter already. I guess at the next school, I'll just go with Google Apps from the very beginning and avoid this aggravation and humiliation.
<a href="www.mtech computers. in" rel="dofollow">m tech computers</a>
How do we know this is not going to happen with Google Apps?
Like the previous posters it's pretty clear to me that MS needs to make it possible for teachers to get the free basic level of Lync and SharePoint at least so that the fac are on the same platform as their students. We got roped into live@edu and now are stuck with this "upgrade" to our formally free service so our team faithfully put O365 in the budget this year so our staff could have the basic six-buck service in order to work with our students on the same tech platforms. So, yeah even though we campaigned on O365's backwards flexibility and other good qualities the school board just crossed it off and wouldn't even discuss it and thought we were crazy for even suggesting it when Google Apps has email chat and doc sharing for free for the entire district. One of our board members is an IT consultant and knows all about the pros and cons of the two platforms and made a pretty good arg for the trade off between functionality and price. Basically there just isn't enough money to go around. Our district isn't getting raises this year. Should have known better from the get go MS would do this but we trusted them. Now we have to migrate everyone out and try to figure out what to do with the hack that is Google's "equivalent" of MS Office. Who knows if google will do it someday but they haven't so far so that's all that counts with our board.
Also I don't know if you all know this but passwords don't sync between the Live and O365 platforms. So Allen keeping faculty in Live services is not a reasonable option for anything more than a couple of technical-minded people.
All Comments and replies appear 203 days old. Is this blog dead, or is monitored any more? Is there an active forum for Office 365 questions?