Microsoft announced on Tuesday a new university wide agreement with the State University of New York (SUNY) to make the Microsoft Live@edu suite of online tools available to its 64 campuses across the state of New York.
The move to Microsoft’s Cloud will provide 465,000 students with Microsoft’s Live@edu online communications and collaboration tools. SUNY students will have access to online software, hosted e-mail, calendar and online storage, Office Web Apps, instant messaging and document sharing.
“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 work force and hit the ground running,” said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. 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.”
The high profile move follows recent Cloud moves by London’s Underground network and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA moved 120,000 users to Microsoft’s Cloud services, announced in early December. Microsoft recently claimed that Google is “failing” in the enterprise. The company has been banging the cloud drum over the past couple of years and it appears this is paying off well for Enterprise customers. Microsoft began advertising “To the Cloud” consumer capabilities in October. The software giant has issued three adverts so far which highlight the cloud features of Windows Live. The company also kicked off a brand new advertising campaign named “Cloud Power” in October. The Redmond based company wants to take its cloud computing investments a step further by advertising the potential benefits to customers. Microsoft made its commitments to its cloud offerings extremely clear at this year’s Professional Developers Conference. The message of the event was that Microsoft were “all in” for cloud services.
The advertising campaign follows the introduction of Microsoft’s new Office 365 service, which puts a number of Office technologies straight into the cloud allowing businesses of any size to save time and money. The Cloud Power campaign focuses on the public cloud, private cloud and cloud productivity.
Cloud Power will appear in print, online, radio and TV commercials over the next several weeks. The adverts will roll out globally in magazines, newspapers, billboards and airport signs. The ads will feature three of Microsoft’s core cloud computing technologies: Office 365, Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V. The first billboards have already begun hanging at Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport over the weekend. The campaign is expected to cost Microsoft several hundred million dollars. Microsoft’s consumer campaign “To the Cloud” is already running across the web and TV and focuses on the consumer offerings for cloud based computing.