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SUNY Promotes Microsoft Live@edu Apps to 64 Campuses

The State University of New York (SUNY) will be offering Microsoft's Live@edu to its 64 campuses. The suite of online applications includes e-mail, a calendars, Office Web Apps, instant messaging, document sharing, videoconferencing, and online storage. SUNY sought to decrease costs of delivering technology to its student population of 465,000. According to Microsoft, the system already has about 70,000 students using Live@edu.

SUNY school Monroe Community College rolled out Live@edu for its students three years ago. Currently, the college offers the suite to its 19,000 students as the formal means for campus communications. The college projected a savings of $600,000 over the next five years from the use of the online applications, which are free to institutional users.

"SUNY is joining a growing class of higher education institutions that is committed to career readiness and making sure its students are able to enter the workforce and hit the ground running," said Sig Behrens, general manager for United States education at Microsoft. "By using Live@edu to communicate with their friends and professors, submit homework, write reports, prepare presentations, and share online documents for class projects, students are gaining experience and software skills employers are looking for."

In October 2010 Microsoft announced Office 365, which the company said will be where Live@edu customers are eventually "transitioned to." This set of productivity programs includes features from Exchange, SharePoint, and other enterprise applications that haven't been part of Live@edu. Details about the platform are still sketchy, and the suite hasn't entered beta testing yet; but Microsoft posted an informational piece online that stated, "Microsoft expects to continue to offer a free service for education. Pricing for additional services will be completed as soon as possible and long before Office 365 for education will be available. Details for the free services and paid options will be announced at the same time."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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