Home The Battle for Cloud-Based Education Services Heats Up as Kentucky Deploys Microsoft’s Live@edu

The Battle for Cloud-Based Education Services Heats Up as Kentucky Deploys Microsoft’s Live@edu

The Kentucky Department of Education announced last week that it has implemented Microsoft Live@edu to provide its cloud-based communications and collaboration tools to students, staff, and faculty statewide. The service will be available to more than 700,000 people, and the state predicts it will save $6.3 million in costs over the next four years by using the Live@edu service.

Live@edu offers educational institutions free hosted, co-branded tools, including 10 GB of email storage, 25 GB of file storage, and access to calendars, document sharing, and instant-messaging.

Kentucky and Microsoft boast that the migration from the stage’s old onsite Exchange service to the cloud-based one has been one of the quickest deployments – done over the course of one weekend, with over half a million people already accessing Live@Edu in the state.

According to Microsoft, Live@edu is now available in more than 10,000 schools in over 130 countries and serves 11 million people worldwide.

Microsoft’s Live@edu versus Google’s Apps for Education

The news from Microsoft and the Kentucky Department of Education follows on the heels of several recent announcements from Google in regards to their cloud-based educational offerings, including the Oregon Department of Education’s announcement last month that Google Apps for Education would be offered to schools statewide.

According to their website, Google claims 8 millions students worldwide are using their Apps for Education, far fewer than the number served by Microsoft’s Live@edu. Despite the demand for better collaborative tools in multiple enterprise and education markets, Google has experienced a number of setbacks with its push into the education realm recently, most notably with universities like Yale and < ahref=”http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224700847″>UC Davis scrapping their plans to adopt the service.

Nevertheless, some educators are pleased to see the battle for cloud-based communication and collaboration tools between these two tech giants, hoping that it will improve the product offerings made available for schools.

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