Microsoft and Google Battle for Campus E-Mail

Google continues to sign up colleges for its e-mail and productivity program suite. The company said Thursday that five more institutions would start using its Web-based Google Apps for Education.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Clemson University, Kennesaw State University, and Arkansas State University are the latest to subscribe to the e-mail, word-processing, and spreadsheet programs.

College officials seem to like the portability of the Web-based programs because students can use them wherever there is a Web connection. Another appealing feature is that students can keep their campus e-mail addresses after they graduate. That makes it easier to reach alumni—and ask for donations.

Microsoft, too, is getting into the higher-education e-mail business. Windows Live@edu is the company’s communication and productivity suite. Ball State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Indiana State University Alumni Association have signed up, some of the 300 or so clients now using the service. Chile’s education ministry plans to offer Microsoft accounts to seven million students in that country, too.

Both Google and Microsoft say they intend to keep adding features, so the battle for hearts, minds, and passwords in higher education is likely to continue. —Josh Fischman

Return to Top