Exchange Labs To Become Outlook Live; New Mail Features in Store for Live@edu
Microsoft's Exchange Labs is changing its name to Outlook Live and adding new e-mail features. Exchange Labs/Outlook Live is a component of Live@edu and functions as an R&D environment for Microsoft's new e-mail developments. The service is free for academic users.
Live@edu is Microsoft's portal, communications, and collaboration suite for education and includes e-mail features and 25 GB of personal data storage. It also incorporates Office Live Workspace, a Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that allows for collaboration and sharing of documents. Through Exchange Labs, Live@edu also provides 10 GB of e-mail storage and a number of enhanced mail services, including support for Web-enabled mobile phones, message tracking, content filtering, global address lists, school e-mail addresses for graduates, custom branding for the inbox with a school's logo and theme, and support for the creation of distribution lists.
When Exchange Labs becomes Outlook Live, the service will be extended to faculty and staff members free of charge. It previously offered free access only to students and alumni.
In addition, the transition to Outlook Live will introduce three significant new features to the service:
- Support for multiple browsers for Web-based mail, including Apple's Safari browser, as well as Firefox and, of course, Internet Explorer;
- New e-mail organization features in the form of "conversation" view, which, as Microsoft described it today, "cuts down on unnecessary inbox clutter by combining multiple e-mails into a single conversation"; and
- Integration of e-mail and instant messaging through Microsoft Office Communicator or Windows Live Messenger.
A phased rollout of Outlook Live will begin tomorrow for existing customers. According to a Microsoft spokesman, "Microsoft expects it will take about three weeks to transition all existing Exchange Labs customers over to Outlook Live. New Live@edu deployments will begin using Outlook Live immediately."
Further information about Outlook Live/Exchange Labs can be found here.
In other Live@edu news, several new higher education institutions have signed on for the service, according to information released today by Microsoft. These include: Ohio State University, the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Ulster. In addition, the Ministry of Education of Peru has signed on to provide the service to 4 million students and 150,000 teachers, and the government of the State of São Paulo in Brazil has signed on for the service to provide Live@edu to more than 6 million students, Microsoft revealed today.
Further information about Live@edu can be found here.