6,250 students, 500 administrative staff and 128 teachers of Skema Business School have given up google apps and are adopting Microsoft’s live@edu. Live@edu is a hosted email service which includes calendar and contact management, instant messaging, video conferencing and a 10GB of storage space. Being a Microsoft’s tool it nicely integrates with other Microsoft applications for better integration of information sharing and resource utilisation. As per the announcements made by school the staff and the students will also be offred Microsoft Office 2010 under a site-wide licensing program, and access to SharePoint Online, giving them 25 GB of storage space for documents.

This collaboration between the school and Microsoft is a 3 year agreement which will also offer internships to Skema graduates.

Google Apps is a service from Google for using domain names with several Google products. It features several web applications with similar functionality to traditional office suites, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Talk, Docs and Sites. Google’s web based applications are being widely used in various universities, colleges, and even schools. It enables students to create Gmail accounts with their university domain, among other things like spreadsheets, Docs, and Calendar. A major selling point for Google Apps Education Edition is the online accessibility for the apps. Meaning students can get their data and information from any computer from any computer connected to the internet. This also allows them to work on computers where there is no Office suit installed. This reduces Microsoft Office’s dominance in offices, schools and colleges. To counter the same Microsoft has started the Live@edu which offers quite similar features along with some advanced features with works in cohesion with other Microsoft Applications.

Live@edu is accessible through popular Web browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It is available at no cost and it helps IT departments:

  • Reduce IT infrastructure costs, such as Maintenance.
  • Spend less time maintaining e-mail systems and more time on strategic initiatives.
  • Offer common, familiar tools for students to communicate and collaborate with peers and faculty.
  • Keep data safer
  • Meet high student expectations, including anywhere access to people and information.

On getting registered with Live@edu a student gets instant access to the following of his accounts: Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, and Windows Live Mobile.

Microsoft is providing data stores for saving, sharing and editing the documents created with Live@edu account. Two data store which Microsoft is using for the same are Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Spaces.

As a result of so many extra benefits being provided by Live@edu another school “ESC Lille” has also adopted it along with Skema. Microsoft’s International President Jean Philippe Courtois, is positively looking forward and foresees adoption of Live@edu by various universities and Colleges across the globe. Philippe himself was a student of Skema in 1983 and currently he is also a member of the school’s Council of Strategic Direction