Outlook And Exchange In Educational Environments

Gnomie Chris Lang writes:

Hey Chris,

I’m a student at the University of Southampton in the UK and I just wanted to share a concern with you about what Microsoft seem to be doing with Exchange right now in relation to academic institutions and students:

  1. Until Office 2007 came out, when you bought the Home/Student edition of Microsoft Office, you would get Outlook bundled in with it… this is no longer the case. You are now required to buy either the Standard version of Office, or purchase Outlook as a standalone program.

  2. My University has just migrated its entire e-mail system to Microsoft Exchange servers. At first I thought, great, I’ll be able to synchronise calendars across machines and still keep at least some of its functionality with my iPhone. However, Microsoft persuaded my university not to allow students to have their e-mail set up on a local client like Outlook, Entourage, or my iPhone’s e-mail app. Instead, the only way we can access our e-mails is through the Outlook Web Access system, which is often slow and tedious for everyday use.

Like many people, my life is inside Microsoft Outlook: emails, calendar, to-dos, meetings… everything. It doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to be essentially discouraging students from using Outlook! Surely it wants to get us used to using Outlook so that we continue to do so when we go in to working life.

Right now, Microsoft is not making it easy for me to use its product. Do you reckon there is a good reason why Microsoft is doing this?

Haven’t got a clue. What do you guys think?

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • LW Irving

    Three letters
    SAS
    software as a service
    similar concept to the “pay as you go” internet you mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter
    Maybe you’ll have to subscribe and give them a monthly payment to use the software

  • Rob Keiser

    To item number 1:
    I think that any student who hasn’t taken advantage of the Ultimate Steal (http://ultimatesteal.com/home.asp) should do so immediately. $60 for office ultimate is a great deal.

    To item number 2:
    Although I like Microsoft products, I don’t think I would use Exchange as my mail system for students at a university. However, I’d have to guess that by requiring the use of OWA for the students the support questions would be less than if they allowed any client to access the email. But that’s just a guess…

  • albert

    I just bought a motorola Q to replace my blackberry that I lost when i changed jobs. The motorola Q just needed the url for my outlook web access, username and password. It imported all of my stuff; mail, calendar, contacts, tasks and it recieves e-mail the same time as outlook on my desktop, unlike my blackberry pearl which took awhile.

  • Shawn Henrichs

    One of the reasons to limit Exchange traffic to OWA is to eliminate the network overhead of SMTP and IMAP.