Microsoft adds Web-based Office to university suite

Microsoft adds a Web-based Office service to suite of online services for universities.

Microsoft added a program for uploading and sharing documents online, Office Live Workspace, to a suite of services specifically geared for users at academic institutions.

The company announced the integration of the service into its Microsoft Live@edu Suite at a symposium for higher-education customers on its Redmond, Washington, campus.Live@edu is a suite of Web-based services aimed at giving universities the basics for creating an online community. Microsoft launched the suite in March 2005 and said more than 400 schools are currently using it.

In addition to Office Live Workspace integration, Microsoft also has increased e-mail storage of Live@edu from 2G bytes to 5G bytes, and added up to 1G byte of password-protected online storage space. The company also has updated the suite with an IP (Internet Protocol) address whitelisting service to ensure e-mails sent from university mail services don't get caught in a recipient's spam filter.

On Oct. 1, Microsoft unveiled a beta-registration program for Office Live Workspace, a Web-based extension of Microsoft Office that lets people access, share and collaborate on documents online. Microsoft is facing new competition in the market for office applications from rivals like Google Inc. that are offering free Web-based alternatives to Office, and so is diversifying its own offerings in the space with more online services.

People interested in the Office Live Workspace beta can sign up online. The service will be available for free later this year.

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