Microsoft Outlook Live to become new university e-mail

The new system has features such as instant messaging and blogging.
Katie Currid / Graphic Designer

The Division of Information Technology will introduce a new e-mail system for students and faculty later this month.

DoIT Director Terry Robb said the transition to the new e-mail system, Microsoft Office Outlook Live, will be optional until fall 2009, when all students and faculty will be required to switch from MU's e-mail system, Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, to the new one.

"The new system will be available for students and faculty in the next few weeks, although nobody will be required to transition to it for quite a while," Robb said. "This is sort of a phase-in period where we're testing the waters before we require the move to Outlook Live at the beginning of next school year in the fall."

Robb said Microsoft Outlook Live will offer considerable improvements from the old e-mail system in many ways. The new e-mail system will have several new features available to students and faculty, such as instant messaging and blogging. Robb said people will be able to instant message students and faculty in their phonebook who are also using Outlook Live.

The new e-mail system will also feature increased storage and memory.

"With Microsoft Outlook Live your quota will go up tremendously," Robb said. "You're at 40 megabytes today, but the new e-mail system will have 10 gigabytes. That's a huge difference."

Microsoft Outlook Live will also allow students to keep their MU e-mail accounts. Previously, students' MU e-mail accounts were canceled the semester after they graduated.

"For students who graduate in May we have a schedule set up for them that will have their Mizzou e-mail account canceled in October," Robb said. "However, the new system will allow them to keep their Mizzou account if they please."

Under the new e-mail system, graduating students' accounts will keep their phonebook and old and sent messages, but will undergo a name change from @mizzou.edu to @mail.mizzou.edu.

Desktop Technologies Director Kevin Bailey said students who wish to keep old e-mail messages and their phonebook will have to manually go through a process to transfer them to Outlook Live.

"Students will be able to hold on to information and e-mails from the old Webmail system when they switch to the new system," Bailey said. "Once we get everything ready, Microsoft Outlook Live should give them instructions on moving everything over."

Tim Noce, Missouri Students Association representative for DoIT, said the Microsoft Outlook Live e-mail system was tested with a pilot group before the decision to make it MU's new e-mail system.

"DoIT's looked at several different e-mail systems over the course of the last few months, including Gmail's version of university Webmail and other Microsoft e-mail," Noce said.

Robb said he's not yet sure how DoIT will inform students when they are able to transition to Microsoft Outlook Live, but said students will be notified before the end of April, if everything goes according to plans.

"We may send an e-mail to all students within the next few weeks to let them know about the new system, but we're not sure," Robb said.

DoIT will meet to discuss the switch to the new e-mail system and other matters of business at 3:30 today in Memorial Union.

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