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Drexel Offers Students Choice of E-mail Web Services from Google Microsoft

January 24, 2008

Drexel University partnerships with Google and with Microsoft will provide students massive e-mail mailboxes, gigabytes of file storage with collaboration tools, Web-based calendars, personal blogs and more, Drexel President Constantine Papadakis announced. Overall, students will have access to almost 20 gigabytes of e-mail and file storage.

LinkEdu, Drexel’s industry partner program, stands apart in higher education because it combines the strengths of the world’s largest information technology companies with Drexel’s own technology leadership, Papadakis said. Unlike universities that have offered only outsourced online services for students, Drexel will continue to offer its in-house e-mail, calendar and storage services to provide students with more choices and capabilities than other college students. The additional Google and Microsoft services cost Drexel students nothing and have identification.

“These partnerships are another example of Drexel’s commitment to providing our students with not only state-of-the-art technology but greater personal options to help them in developing their creativity and talent,” Papadakis said.

LinkEdu will provide students with almost 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage from accounts offered by Google Apps™ Education Edition, Microsoft’s Live@edu and Microsoft Exchange Labs and Drexel, including more than 3 GB in online file storage and 16 GB for e-mail. Students will have the option of using any or all of the LinkEdu services, said John A. Bielec, Drexel’s chief information officer and vice president for Information Resources and Technology.

“Today’s undergraduates use multiple e-mail accounts the way many of us have used folders in a single account to segment and organize communications by groups such as family, friends or classmates,” Bielec said. “With multiple accounts, students will be able to communicate their university affiliation without commingling these groups.”

The Google Apps communication and collaboration services will offer each student 6 GB of e-mail storage as well as instant messaging, Web-based calendars, 1,000 docs and 20,000 images with other functions such as real-time editing and collaboration, Bielec said. Students will also have access to their Gmail™ accounts, Google Calendar™, Google Docs™ and Google Talk™ services via any Internet-enabled device, including smartphones. Google Apps is free of advertisements for students.

Microsoft’s Live@edu will provide 5 GB of e-mail storage, with accounts powered by Hotmail, as well as space to share more than 1,000 Office documents, 1 GB online storage, desktop-sharing applications, shared calendars and mobile alerts, said Bielec. This will allow students to work with tools that are already familiar — tools they will continue to use when they graduate. Having access to all of these tools will help students be productive wherever they are — on mobile, laptop or desktop computers and regardless of whether they have an Internet connection.

Drexel, partnering with Microsoft to build and test next-generation e-mail and collaboration capabilities, is one of the first universities in the U.S. to deploy Exchange Labs for all of its students. Exchange Labs will provide an additional 5 GB of e-mail storage, online calendars and contact lists, all with the industry-standard Microsoft Outlook user interface on desktop computers, Web browsers or mobile phones.

Both Hotmail and Exchange Labs e-mail services are free of advertisements for students and available via mobile phone, which includes push e-mail for compatible Windows Mobile and Nokia phones, Bielec said.

A pilot group of 100 students will begin using LinkEdu in February, Bielec said. The rest of Drexel’s 21,000 students will gain access to its services in March.

Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on cooperative education and technology. In 1984, Drexel became the first university to require students to have computers. In 2000, Drexel became the first major university to operate a fully wireless campus. Launched in 2002, the University’s DrexelOne Mobile was the first mobile Web portal service for students.

Google, Google Apps, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Page Creator, Google Talk and Gmail are trademark of Google Inc.


News media contact: Brian Rossiter, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or

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