PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania has partnered with Microsoft to enhance the communications platform it offers to many of its students.
Beginning in the fall semester, students in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School will have the option of using a customized version of Windows Live called Penn Live to access e-mail and a full suite of online communications services.
Penn Live will host student e-mail accounts, including support for both mobile and offline access. The arrangement with Microsoft will provide students with 2 gigabytes of storage space. Other features include calendaring and contact management; Windows Live Messenger instant messaging and file sharing; Windows Live Spaces for personal web publishing, blogging and photo sharing; and FolderShare, a private peer-to-peer network that allows users to synchronize files between multiple devices and share files with other student users.
Penn Live will initially be offered to students in SAS and Wharton, representing 13,000 of the University's approximately 20,000 students.
The agreement is the culmination of a discussion involving students, University administration and representatives of Microsoft.
Associate Provost Andrew Binns said that the involvement of students, who evaluated several potential products, was critical.
"We think that this is going to prove to be a good fit within the Penn environment," Binns said, "and we know from the input of our students that the features will meet their needs. We're excited about the prospect of being able to offer our students better tools for more effective communication and collaboration with their classmates."
"We are very excited for the opportunity to work with Penn's IT leaders to deliver cutting-edge services to Penn students across the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School," said Gerri Elliot, corporate vice president, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft.
Additional information about Penn Live is available at http://www.upenn.edu//computing/help/doc/email/Penn-Live-FAQ.htm.