One question I do get asked frequently is “How many Live@edu users are there?”, or more generally “How many education customers use the Microsoft Cloud?”. Often the answer I have to give is outdated – at BETT in 2011, we announced that it had now reached a total of 15M students using Live@edu, up from 11M in November 2010.
Over on the ‘Official Microsoft Blog’, we’ve just released an update, and there are now 22 million students using Live@edu worldwide, a doubling since this time last year. And it’s growing at the rate of 27,000 students every day. New institutions signing up for Live@edu recently include a range of universities including University of Colorado at Boulder and Kings College London ; a number of state-wide school systems including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and not for profit institutions like the Royal National College for the Blind in the UK.
Read the Official Microsoft Blog post Live@edu Tops 22M Users, Grows 100 Percent Year Over Year
As we move into this next year, we’re continuing to offer Live@edu as a free cloud email, collaboration and communication service for staff and students, as well as bringing in Office 365 for education. It will include everything available in Office 365 for enterprises, and we are offering some qualifying education customers Office 365 in order to take advantage of Exchange Online and Lync Online today. We will add SharePoint Online capabilities in 2012 when Office 365 for education is broadly available. Current Office 365 education users include Georgia State University, Dundee University in Scotland, East Norfolk Sixth College in England, the Inzai City Board of Education and Wakayama City Board of Education in Japan – and earlier in the year I also highlighted Curtin University here in Australia.
As I’ve said before, education is moving quickly to using the Cloud, to save money, build more flexible ICT infrastructures and enable much more effective collaboration. So, although the answer to the question “How many Live@edu users are there?” is 22 million today, it’s already wrong by the time you read this. Because every day education customers are doing more in the Cloud.