Outlook And Exchange In Educational Environments

Gnomie Chris Lang writes:

Hey Chris,

I’m a student at the University of Southampton in the UK and I just wanted to share a concern with you about what Microsoft seem to be doing with Exchange right now in relation to academic institutions and students:

  1. Until Office 2007 came out, when you bought the Home/Student edition of Microsoft Office, you would get Outlook bundled in with it… this is no longer the case. You are now required to buy either the Standard version of Office, or purchase Outlook as a standalone program.
  2. My University has just migrated its entire e-mail system to Microsoft Exchange servers. At first I thought, great, I’ll be able to synchronise calendars across machines and still keep at least some of its functionality with my iPhone. However, Microsoft persuaded my university not to allow students to have their e-mail set up on a local client like Outlook, Entourage, or my iPhone’s e-mail app. Instead, the only way we can access our e-mails is through the Outlook Web Access system, which is often slow and tedious for everyday use.

Like many people, my life is inside Microsoft Outlook: emails, calendar, to-dos, meetings… everything. It doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to be essentially discouraging students from using Outlook! Surely it wants to get us used to using Outlook so that we continue to do so when we go in to working life.

Right now, Microsoft is not making it easy for me to use its product. Do you reckon there is a good reason why Microsoft is doing this?

Haven’t got a clue. What do you guys think?