Microsoft Integrates Office Live Workspace With Live@edu

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-10-22 Print this article Print

The integration lets users upload Microsoft Office documents and allows students and educators to collaborate.

Microsoft is integrating Office Live Workspace into its new Microsoft Live@edu suite of services for universities, the company announced Oct. 22. The software maker made the announcement at a symposium at its Redmond, Wash., campus that was attended by more than 400 of its higher education customers.
Microsoft first announced its vision for Office Live Workspace, a Web-based feature of Microsoft Office that lets people access and share documents, earlier this month. The service, part of its software-plus-services strategy, will be available at no charge when released later this year.
The schools do not yet have access to the Office Live Workspace, but have seen demos of the offering and will start getting early access in the coming months, "as were currently evaluating their needs and the environments in which they plan to use Microsoft Office Live Workspace," a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK. Read more here about how Microsoft Office is going online. The public beta is scheduled for later this year, and those interested in testing the beta code can sign up here. But there is a catch: Users will not to able to edit the documents they are viewing through a browser unless they have Office installed on their computer. Users need Microsoft Office to edit Office documents but, if they do not have it installed, they can still view Office documents in a browser [both Internet Explorer and Firefox will be supported] and can comment on them, the spokesperson said. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer urges the companys partners to embrace software plus services. Read more here. For users who do have Office installed, when they click to edit a document, it will be downloaded into the version of Office they have on the desktop—Office 2003 and Office 2007 are supported. When changes are made and the document is saved, the changes are automatically saved to the online version of the document, the spokesperson said. The integration of Office Live Workspace with the Live@edu suite, which was launched in March 2005, will let users upload Microsoft Office documents and give other students and educators permission to collaborate with them. Scott Barker, IT director for the University of Washington Information School, said the combination of architecture and features "offers a great solution for faculty and students where collaboration on group projects is critical and necessary." A number of colleges and universities have signed up for the Office Live Workspace University Early Adopter Program. In addition, the Office Live Workspace offering is another indication of how seriously Microsoft is taking the growing competition in the productivity space as well as the threats posed to its traditional business model by online competitors such as Google, with its Documents and Spreadsheets offerings. IBM has also announced Lotus Symphony, a suite of free software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. To read more about IBMs free office tools, click here. In addition to the integration of Office Live Workspace, the new Live@edu program has more than doubled the amount of user e-mail storage space, from 2GB to 5GB, along with up to 1GB of password-protected online storage space, automatic e-mail reply, and IP address whitelisting, which helps stop e-mails sent from university mail servers from getting caught in spam filters, Microsoft officials said. More than 400 schools from more than 30 countries now use the Live@edu suite. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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