Windows Live @ edu Program – free email hosting for universities and more

Update: Gmail has come out with a similar program – when I first wrote about this, I didn’t highlight the fact that this is – Robert Scoble reports that at least 20 Universities have signed up for this

While there has been understandably vigorous discussion about Apple’s iTunesU, I am surprised that the Windows Live @ edu program has not garnered more attention:

Windows Liveâ„¢ @ edu Program
Connect your college or university campus with free1 hosted e-mail from MSN®. Provide all of your students and alumni with free e-mail accounts that potentially never expire1, featuring a custom domain name selected by your institution. You and Microsoft® can bring your school the same e-mail, messaging, and collaborative services that a global network of millions of people already successfully utilize.

Let’s get this straight:

  • Free email hosting at your institution’s domain with no ads and 2GB of space
  • With the option for converting to lifetime hosting for alumni
  • With MSN Spaces integration – weblogs for all students
  • With Messenger – collaboration tools

The FAQ (big pdf) is worth reading.

Did I mention that it was free? Do you know how much it costs to host student email and weblogs at a big institution?

2 thoughts on “Windows Live @ edu Program – free email hosting for universities and more”

  1. No ads? Free? I think not. You should post the footnotes…

    1Hosted e-mail is free for institutions willing to accept standard display advertising within the Window Live Mail interface. For those institutions that require MSN to remove the display advertising, MSN will charge a small, affordable fee. Windows Live @ edu services are compatible only with institutions implementing Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS). MIIS is not included in this offer and must be purchased separately.

    So, free only w/ads and predicated on the implementaion of MIIS.

  2. Fair points, although when I looked at it, I don’t remember there being anything about ads – and looking now, I don’t see anything about that. From our perspective, the cost of implementing MIIS is trivial compared to the cost of supporting quality email service for over 300,000 students a year.

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