Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Communications

University Migrating Students to Windows Live Mail? 450

Posted by Cliff
from the does-this-sound-like-a-good-idea dept.
An anonymous reader wonders: "My University has begun a migration of student email services to Windows Live Mail. All students will be forced onto the system by the end of the semester, but it doesn't support POP or IMAP. Because of that limitation, the only freely available mail client it supports is Windows Live Desktop, which is only available on Windows and I'm worried its ads might be vulnerable to malware just like the ones in Live Messenger. I depend on my mail client and I am concerned about this, because we're not allowed to forward our mail but are responsible for information received there from the University and classes, I'm not on a Windows machine, and I don't have the time to regularly check for web-mail, during the day." What are the pros and cons of such a move for a mid-sized or large college? If you were in charge of the communications of a such a university, would you outsource [please note the vendor neutrality, here] your e-mail?
Has anyone else's tech department migrated to Windows Live Mail? Why did they make that decision, and how did it work out for the students? For those of us who have already switched our accounts with no way to revert, what ways exist to get around the lack of POP and still use a client? Is there any hope we can get the University to change back or Microsoft to implement POP before the semester's end? How does your University manage their email?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

University Migrating Students to Windows Live Mail?

Comments Filter:
  • Contact them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nightspirit (846159) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:13PM (#18220882)
    The program is still in beta (why the university is going with a beta product I have no idea).
    Use this form to contact them and tell them what you want (pop, imap support, or whatever).
    http://feedback.msn.com/eform.aspx?productkey=mail beta&locale=en-us [msn.com]
    • Re:Contact them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:53PM (#18221202)
      Microsoft is fully aware that any modern email server should support POP and IMAP. But you have to be ignorant of Microsoft's business practices to not see what the facts show -- the program (meant in a general sense) here makes it so one's email is held captive in a Microsoft-only format. Not just your data is captive -- in order to view your data you also have to use a computer running Windows. This is also known as, why the fuck did the United States not complete its prosecution of Microsoft and prevent these illegal business practices. Notice the last: you cannot forward your email. You cannot forward your email. Microsoft does the exact same thing on their Exchange email server -- no email forwarding allowed. But then, you have to know that Microsoft makes its money by charging a tiered price for the amount of data in each account. You won't end up with a lot of data in your account if you forward your email. So, guess what, with Microsoft you do not get to.

      You also won't end up locked in.

      The correct answer to the student's questions is to go to a different school. Its institution's staff IT people are obviously incompetent or getting kickbacks if they are going with this "solution" that, like Windows Vista (makes XP look like a dream), gets in your way. Microsoft's products are become a severe hinderance to productivity.
      • Re:Contact them (Score:4, Informative)

        by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:10PM (#18221334) Homepage
        Exchange can forward email just fine. The Out-of-the-Box config allows this. Outside the organization.

        You can also define externals contacts. You can install connectors to view Calendars from Notes Organizations, etc. pp.

        Step spewing nonsense.
    • by green pizza (159161) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:25PM (#18221422) Homepage
      My former university moved all 20,000+ student email accounts to Windows Live Mail as well. The reason? Microsoft offered *free* email and web hosting. Everything from the hosting to the migration to advertising the "great new features" of Windows Live Mail across campus were done at Microsoft's expense. There were lots of complaints, but in the end our IT department was able to free up resources (both servers and employees) thanks to Microsoft's new found generosity. How long this will continue, and how long it will remain free, is yet to be seen. For now it seems to be well supported by MS ads and the whole MS Live marketing campaign.
      • Gmail Gmail Gmail
        Free, huge storage, POP3, all kinds of rules you can make, excellent SPAM filtering (way better than MSN), and Google has another service that offers free web hosting.

        A new feature being gradually implemented (I think be seniority) is the ability to check other POP3 accounts from Gmail. Gmail also has the best AJAX interface in existence, IMHO.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MsGeek (162936)
          Woodbury University migrated its student accounts to Gmail. Very happy about it. Nice to apply Gmail's industrial-strength, nearly infallable Spam filters to my account.

          Who needs freaking MS and their "Live*" crap? Apparently not the IT department, whose natural instinct would have been to pile on more MS junk but they went the Gmail route because whatever solution they picked would have had to work on the Macs at WU too.

          The Googleplex has made recent decisions I would have to categorize as "evil." However,
    • Quite why he's worried about being served malware when in the very same sentence he said he doesn't use an OS capable of running the program in question is anybody's guess, but my main point is that the Slashdot story he links to states that the banner ads pointed to malware, not that Windows Live Messeneger permitted a third party install any unwanted software. Does anyone (technically aware) really click these types of advertisements? I sure don't.
  • yes and no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:13PM (#18220884)
    Outsourcing mail makes sense, but outsourcing to a service that doesn't support POP or IMAP doesn't.

    Your university might want to consider outsourcing to Google Mail...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      My University [dailynorthwestern.com] is switching to Google. One of my concerns is that I really like my desktop clients (alpine and thunderbird) and prefer IMAP. While gmail is an excellent web-client, I don't really use my gmail account that much, because it doesn't offer IMAP & POP is both "flaky" and limiting.

      Does google's hosted service offer IMAP? Or are there plans to in the near future?
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:37PM (#18221072)
      As with any project, you have to determine the specific requirements before you can even THINK of looking at vendors.

      #1. Must support pop3 - will test using clients X, Y & Z.

      #2. Must support imap - will test using clients X, Y & Z.

      #3. Must support 1 & 2 with encryption - will test using clients X, Y & Z.

      etc.

      It is the requirements that make or break projects. Determine the requirements and how you'll be testing to see if those requirements will be met and THEN you can start looking at which vendors can meet those requirements (and testing to see that they actually DO meet them).
      • by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:15PM (#18221366) Homepage
        Isn't it easier just to have university policy say "This university best viewed using Internet Explorer"? It could also say "c'mon, everyone uses windows, what are you a communist?"
        • by pato101 (851725)
          despite the sarcasm...
          The question is not that everyone uses windows, but that everyone will have to use windows forever- which is a different thing. Also, when choosing standard tools and protocols, everyone using windows will not loose any capability.
          Furthermore, your point is in contradiction with the word "university".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TeknoHog (164938)

          "c'mon, everyone uses windows, what are you a communist?"

          It's funny that Americans say 'communism' when they refer to a centrally planned economy in a totalitarian government. Of course, there's nothing centrally planned or totalitarian about everyone using Windows.

    • by numbski (515011) *
      Does GotMail [sourceforge.net] still work? If so, use that. Just make sure to cron it so it runs in the background and you're not having to constantly wait for the process to complete.
    • Re:yes and no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rinisari (521266) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:16PM (#18221370) Homepage Journal
      Utilize the school's student newspaper. Write a letter to the editor, if not a guest editorial. Most editors are cool and will let you write the editorial, as long as you keep it constructive and cite specific examples and sources while keeping it professional and logical. Another option is flyering the campus, but that's a little more difficult at a university of 20,000+ than a college of ~1,500.
    • In many (most? all?) cases, Microsoft is providing university student Windows Live Mail hosing *For Free*. Outsourcing email to Microsoft is a no-brainer to the bean counters and overworked IT departments. Let MS take over the email hosting to free up university resources. Also, having no POP or IMAP support greatly reduces the number of tech support calls to the campus IT helpdesk. "Install IE7, go to the webmail site" vs "here's how to configure eudora/outlook/mail.app/etc for your specific OS version".
    • Re:yes and no (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sorthum (123064) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:58PM (#18221640) Homepage
      I do work as a mail admin for a university.

      Our boss dismissed the idea of outsourcing to Google or anybody else based SOLELY upon the fact that they reserved the right to advertise in the future to our students. We don't view our students as a commodity to be sold, so that kinda killed the whole "outsource the email" idea.
      • We don't view our students as a commodity to be sold
        Your university must not be a Land Grant university.
      • by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @09:28PM (#18222238)
        Google and Microsoft will advertise if you don't pay them, as well they should. Getting a free service from a company isn't "outsourcing".

        Outsourcing means you pay market rates for the service. Then, your students won't be subjected to advertising.

        (As an aside, the ads are easy to kill.)
  • Uh, complain? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:14PM (#18220892) Homepage Journal
    Don't waste your time asking about it on Slashdot. You should be writing to the president of your University and make him aware of your concerns. If they don't change, transfer to another college.
    • Re:Uh, complain? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by maynard (3337) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:27PM (#18221004) Journal
      Uhhh. Why should he bother changing university (and job) over IT email policy? Even if he doesn't like the email service, doesn't run Windows, and won't ever use it - why does that warrant transfer to a new school? Perhaps there are other compelling reasons why he might want to stay. For example, he has a girlfriend there; he has a good relationship with a certain professor who is willing to help his career path; he might lose transfer credits in the process; etc etc etc.

      Your suggestion seems a tad excessive, IMO.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by modecx (130548)
        Uhhh. Why should he bother changing university (and job) over IT email policy? Even if he doesn't like the email service, doesn't run Windows, and won't ever use it - why does that warrant transfer to a new school?

        I would probably think about it if I were in this position, and weren't especially attached to that school, and here's why: an action as poorly thought out as this one is surely not the only silly thing the school has done or will do in the near future. In other words, stupidity is almost positiv
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aardvarkjoe (156801)

          In other words, stupidity is almost positively endemic to the culture of the university...
          Stupidity is positively endemic to the culture of any university.
          • by Tyrven (976346)
            IAWTC. Also, the proposal of changing universities because of an email policy is ridiculous. That's like telling people who think the United States Postal Service to move outside the United States. If we were all to hold our life to such idealistic standards, we'd have nowhere to go.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by WingedEarth (958581)
              Actually, we should hold ourselves to idealistic standards, but shouldn't run away from our problems. Fight the University! Confront the administration and campaign to make the University a better place. What a world we'd have if people actually demonstrated this sort of loyalty to their communities, rather than just moving somewhere that already suited them.
      • by Jason Earl (1894)

        He should switch schools because he goes to the University of Idaho. The fact that the school uses Windows Live Mail is just one of the many reasons he should jump ship.

    • Re:Uh, complain? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gnud (934243) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:44PM (#18221124)
      Guys, why is every Ask Slashdot item answered with "dont waste your time on slashdot, instead go bug $some_seemingly_appropriate_person". If that is you attitude, just dont read any "Ask Slashdot" threads. Perhaps he just wants ammunition for his blazing letter to the university board =)
    • by yabos (719499)
      It's the right idea but it probably won't do anything to stop it. At my university all I have to do to get free microsoft software is ask for it. You can get virtually anything except any server products, for free. Places that are that in bed with MS usually won't change no matter how much you complain. After all, most of their student's won't complain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You can't be serious. Goddam, people have it so good these days. When I was at uni all our e-mail was on a VMS system and I had to actually go onto the campus site and access it through a VT100 terminal. If I wanted to read my e-mail at home I had take it home on paper after printing it out on a dot matrix line printer that normally had about 2 days worth of jobs queued up ahead of me. With this kind of thing we just put up and shut up. You can't let trivial things make big decisions for you.

      Now maybe if t

  • Which university? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:14PM (#18220898)
    Which university?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      He is talking about the University of Idaho most likely. They are currently migrating students to live, and this same discussion just came up in our LUG discussion group just the other day. Students who oppose the change have been quick to blame the university ITS department, when really this is a product of their student government (ASUI) and the state's yearly budget cuts to the University.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by aardvarkjoe (156801)

        Students who oppose the change have been quick to blame the university ITS department, when really this is a product of their student government (ASUI) and the state's yearly budget cuts to the University.
        Well, it certainly is the fault of the IT department that students aren't allowed to either forward their e-mail, or specify an address of their choice for official university communication. Neither one of those cost anything, and would solve these problems.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by coleridge78 (603449)
          All of your replies make it obvious that you have no idea how a University (or probably any organization of over ten members) functions. No offense. You may be a frustrated student, which I can understand. I sounded similar once upon a time. Here's the deal: the IT department is *exceedingly* unlikely to be the source of the "can't forward email" policy. I work for one of the five largest Universities in the States. I can tell you that nothing like that would ever come from the IT department. Ever. It woul
  • POP access (Score:5, Informative)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:15PM (#18220900)
    A quick google brought this [reaper-x.com] up on the first page of results.
    • Re:POP access (Score:5, Informative)

      by elysian1 (533581) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:59PM (#18221648)
      I've been using Thunderbird and the WebMail add-on for months now with my Live Mail account. Just download the WebMail extension and the Hotmail extension here: http://webmail.mozdev.org/installation.html [mozdev.org] After you have it installed it, go here for how to set up webmail: http://webmail.mozdev.org/setup.html [mozdev.org] Then, to make it work with Live Mail, go to Thunderbird's Add-ons menu and click the options button for Hotmail. You might need to add a new domain (probably your school's domain). Then go to the accounts tab and select Hotmail Website (BETA) mode for the new domain you've created. That should do it.
  • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:16PM (#18220912)
    Well, those are my immediate thoughts.

    When word gets out what University is comtemplating
    this, well, I would not want to be associated with
    the decision.
  • No POP service? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:18PM (#18220928) Homepage Journal
    One could write a shell script to negotiate the HTTP transactions with wget and pipe the resulting pages through a series of filters to strip away the page cruft (ads, navbars, menus, etc.) and the HTML tags and leave only the message text which could be inserted into standard system /var/mail files. After the shell script was sufficiently defined one could use the source code of wget, the source code of HTML libs, the source code of a mail daemon, and a little innovative C glue and write a formal local Windows Live Mail retrieval tool. Once the custom tool achieves any sort of popularity, though, then MS will begin to change the page formats subtly to confound the stripping filters. Then it'll be another radar race.

    Why can't they just offer POP service to those who want it?
  • by jerbenn (903795) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:19PM (#18220934)
    I work at a mid-size university and we outsource student email services to a state run provider. From my experience as both an IT admin and a student, I find that most student's don't use their campus provided email anyway......rather resorting to using their own personal accounts with hotmail, google, etc... The wise thing to do in my opinion is provide some sort of email service (outsourced is fine) for the small percent of students who actually use it, and allow student's to submit their own email addresses to the campus database.......which would then get loaded into the 'official' campus address book for use by faculty and other students.......
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The disadvantage of having official registered student e-mail addresses among many different domains/providers is that you have really no assurance that each message will get to the right person. Yes, you can verify that an official campus message left whatever server it's hosted on, but you can't verify that someone at another provider ever actually had the message delivered to their account.

      I don't understand the problem with having a universal campus-hosed e-mail service. They have servers accessible to
    • I work at a mid-size university and we outsource student email services to a state run provider. From my experience as both an IT admin and a student, I find that most student's don't use their campus provided email anyway......rather resorting to using their own personal accounts with hotmail, google, etc...

      Students will rely on whichever email system is more useful to them. If you do not provide a superior level of client compatibility, accessibility, reliability, and usability, then students will resor
    • This surprises me as well. My university let you forward your campus e-mail account to wherever you want because they were fully aware 90% of the students wouldn't even be using their POP server to access mail since they had home accounts or used Hotmail/Yahoo, etc. Why on Earth would any university go out of their way to ban people from forwarding their personal university correspondence to the e-mail address of their choice? If I relied on e-mail communications from professors I'd just notify them at t
    • by Dredd13 (14750)

      The wise thing to do in my opinion is provide some sort of email service (outsourced is fine) for the small percent of students who actually use it, and allow student's to submit their own email addresses to the campus database

      Are you high? Seriously, what color is the sky in the world you live in?

      As a campus system admin, I would completely say bollocks to that. You're opening yourself up to tons of "I never got that message, Professor Xavier," and crap like that.

      You give them a campus e-mail addres

      • by niiler (716140)
        Are *YOU* high? As a university professor, I get this ("You never told me xyz") all the time even when they've got the info on the syllabus, and have been told such info verbally every class all semester. You are over-inflating the importance of your email system if you think that the system you have has *anything* to do with students responding to your email.

        Since gmail, or even AOL became ubiquitous, university-based email addresses really are extras that most students don't need or want. For that ma

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:20PM (#18220938)
    I have used Thunderbird against the hotmail client of Windows Live Mail. Thunderbird has a webmail addon, that supports hotmail and the Live Mail beta. I haven't tried it on non-Windows machines, but I see no reason it shouldn't work.

    Good luck.
  • Just open a gmail account, forward e-mail from Windows Live and use the free POP.
    • Just open a gmail account, forward e-mail from Windows Live and use the free POP.

      They won't let you, so you are forced to use something that can use Windows Live or miss out on University communications.

      Even LSU had enough sense to outsource to a mail service that had POP and IMAP and works with kmail. Why does it work with kmail? Because the service is based on free software and coded to REAL STANDARDS, not some M$ crap d'jour.

  • by dan dan the dna man (461768) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:22PM (#18220960) Homepage Journal
    I work at a University where Exchange dominates proceedings, like many other institutions. Watching staff and students stampede away from it when they realise there is an IMAP alternative when they are told about it (fine yes Exchange supports IMAP but the Uni's implementation does not) is quite heartening.

    If they tried this at my institution there would be riots quite frankly - does everyone in your CS department run Windows? Even in the Biology departments not everyone runs Windows! I certainly couldn't accept this kind of situation occurring for staff, so I wouldn't therefore accept it occurring for students. In a world where the concept of choice is so readily bandied about as being 'a good thing' this is a retrograde step, regardless of who the vendor is.

    Of course many of the students and staff already forward their email en masse to Gmail and either store it/deal with it there..
  • Sounds Dubious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moehoward (668736) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:25PM (#18220990)

    I am skeptical of your question/issue. I strongly suggest that you post a link to your institution's new policy. Or, post the policy here yourself. Your description is so "worst-case-scenario", that I have too many doubts. University's are not completely stupid and you have framed this as a "dumb-big-institution" gripe. I mean, your question is framed so that there is no possible answer. It seems to be a setup for a bunch of anti-MS posts and "what's-a-poor-student-to-do" grandstanding.

    Also, if what you say is true then you can always get a free (as in beer) bot that will provide any auto-forward capabilities that Windows Live may not (or may) provide.

    • Re:Sounds Dubious (Score:5, Informative)

      by Saeculorum (547931) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @07:19PM (#18221388)
      One such institution that has conducted such a change is the University of Idaho [uidaho.edu]. The information is available here [uidaho.edu]. The ITS department has further clarified that they aren't even going to support Windows Live Mail Desktop (which is also in beta).
      • by thewils (463314)
        From the uidaho.edu link:

        Can I change the appearance of VandalMail Live?
        Windows Live Mail is extremely customizable. Not only are there several color themes, but students will be able to change the layout of reading panes.

        Oh the choice! Several color themes no less...
    • > University's are not completely stupid

      You've obviously never been to mine.
  • I'm at a university in DC and they are also talking about outsourcing student's mail either to Yahoo or Google. They're starting the trials soon and there are a number of good reasons for it. Currently students are limited to 250 MB of mail which can be a problem when you're sending papers back and forth to your group paper. Also, they are currently using Lotus Notes webmail and it's horrible to use on the web, regularly failing and being generally backward in its use. Webmail clients like the new Yahoo
    • 1) It's much cheaper to outsource your email than to run your own servers.
      is it really cheaper to have all your internal e-mail (must be quite a large volume if people are readilly hitting the limits on 250meg boxes) flying on and off campus several times.

      also have they considered the potential cost of losing internal e-mail service if they lose thier internet connection?

  • If I were in a position of authority over a University network, would I outsource the email? Absolutely.

    Would I outsource it to Microsoft? Not a chance in hell.

    I'd find a company whose primary focus is email. That way I could expect some kind of service.
  • You don't have the time to check mail in a webbased client, but it's no problem to leave a standard client running?

    I find that somewhat funny. I think the real problem is that you hate it that they force a way of working onto you, which as an added benefit runs on the Evil Empire's platform.

    My solution would be to run a virtual machine at home using VMWare, Xen or something. At the Uni, there will be enough Windows boxes available.
  • Google Apps (Score:2, Informative)

    by physicsphairy (720718)
    Google Apps for Education [google.com]

    2GB of space. POP3. Spam filtering. Cost? $0.

    I use a .forward file at my school just because the local mail is so unreliable (downtime, messages lost, etc.). Even *that* has been a liability when they have managed to crash their RAID array and not have a backup. That was when final projects were due, too. And they limit us to 250 megabytes total on the system. Oh how I yearn for the day they will here my humble petitions and switch to Google Apps.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:41PM (#18221096) Homepage Journal
    If it is a state-run university you may be able to slow the process down by using public pressure or lobbying. Write your state lawmakers. Cite issues like "unfairly giving one company the upper hand at the expense of others" and "forcing students to view ads as a course requirement" etc. If you are lucky, you may find their actions violate state law, although I doubt that's the case.

    Talk to professors. Some of them may be running projects which require that certain information never leave the school campus except over secure channels. Or they simply might not want to send certain information anywhere within 1000 miles of Redmond. Find out who they are and have them lobby to change the requirement.

    Also find professors and students who are anti-monopoly and anti-forced-advertisements. There should be plenty of them in the School of Liberal Arts. Get them to lobby also.

    Given that the decision has already been made, it's probably too late for you. I hope these suggestions help others whose schools are considering outsourcing functions to unrelated entities.

    When it comes to educational IT outsourcing of just about anything other than consumer software, I recommend:
    • Have a contingency plan if the outsourcing arrangement doesn't work out or the outsourcing partner quits or folds
    • Buy a white-label solution, with the University's brand on it and no paid advertising unless each ad is university-approved, and no paid ads in IT environments students or employees are required to use. Instead of "GMail," it's "MyUMail."
    • In ad-free areas, only a discreet mention of who the vendor actually is
    • All university data is segregated from the vendor's other customer's data
    • All sensitive data is encrypted to/from the campus or to/from the campus-affiliated person's computer
    • Only certain vendor employees are allowed access to the data, and then only as needed to do their jobs
    • Take extra precautions with information related to identity, grades, payroll, class schedule, and other potentially sensitive information. If email and file-storage is outsourced, be aware that employees and students may put others' sensitive information on that space as part of their jobs or classwork. This data needs to be protected as it would be if the data and its backups were controlled by the University.
  • Look at it from a political perspective. Are there members of the computer science depts or other professors of other sciences & mathematics or graphical arts departments that hold professors that use, or even just would prefer to use, UNIX (Mac OSX, Solaris, etc) or Linux? See if you can get them to sign off an open letter. Bug your school paper. Bug the highest levels of your school's administration. It shouldn't be too hard to make an effective case against your school's IT department's attempt
  • What a bone-headed idea. I work for a University IT department and that kind of thinking is nuts even for an underfunded .EDU IT dept.

    I betchya what happened is some CIO drank some Redmond Kool-Aid and made a deal with the devil. Sounds like everything on that campus is about to go to Exchange. My condolences.
  • Vendor-neutrality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frisket (149522) <peter AT silmaril DOT ie> on Saturday March 03, 2007 @06:57PM (#18221234) Homepage
    Any institution which forces users to buy one specific platform just in order to read mail has its head so far up its ass that it might just as well climb up in after it and disappear.

    Even in my own institution, which is slavishly Microsoft-dominated, both student email and faculty/staff email are accessible from any platform. Not necessarily optimally -- OWA is probably the suckiest email interface ever devised -- but no-one is placed in the position of not being able to read college email just because they happen to use a Mac, or a Sun, or a Linux box.

    It's an education/training problem: most Windows users are only very dimly aware that anything else exists: they may have heard of Apple Macs but probably not of Linux. They've certainly never seen or used anything except Windows, and are thus completely baffled and uncomprehending at the concept of someone who is not a Windows user.

    When that species of ignorance exists at decision-making level, you will get people making unwise decisions because they are simply unaware that any problem exists. If they are already that badly brainwashed, then recommendations for alternative action from lower down the food chain will have no effect, because they lack the cognitive hooks on which further information can hang.

  • There doesn't seem to be a lot of discussion about the specific context, so I'll just brainstorm out loud for a bit:

    - Is the IT department that made the e-mail outsourcing call in charge of purchasing hardware and OS/software licenses for academic departments' general computing needs? If not, is there a plan to provide academic departments with fully functional access to the e-mail solution on whatever platforms they are using?

    - What about ADA compliance? Do the proprietary client and the platform it runs
  • Not too familiar with the Live Mail service mentioned here, but if it truly is Windows-only that would be really confusing. I suspect easily 15-20% of my university students used Macs. It makes sense, if you realize that Apple has relatively higher marketshare in laptops, and most students use laptops.

    Of the 10 or so people I'm close friends with that bought new computers while in school (graduated 06), every single one of them bought Macs. About 50% were former Mac users, and 50% switched from Dell or H
  • 1 - relying on a *beta* product ( what, are they nuts? )
    2 - relying on a proprietary product ( schools should teach choice, and encourage experimentation. This is counter productive )
  • Upper management has already made the decision for us to do the same thing. They chose MS Live Mail for a few reasons.

    1. It is free. To do it ourselves would be expensive when you start looking at the HW requirements.
    2. No ads for current students. Once they become alumni MS will put ads in their stuff.
    3. When the decision was made, Google supposedly wanted 10K a year. Now its free I think.
    4. Colleges want student email so they can eliminate paper communications (save on postage) for "official" communicatio
  • Defined as the CIO making decisions that make his/her life easier, that have substantial negative consequences on the user community.

    But those users and their impacts don't come out of the CIO's budget, so they don't count.

    Has anyone ever met a CIO who didn't have "CIO Syndrome"?

                dave
  • For starters, it's quite easy to run a secure, high-performance,
    scalable mail system using open-source tools on cheap hardware.
    An *example* of such a combination might be: OpenBSD, postfix,
    SpamAssassin, CLamAV, UW-IMAP, perdition. This combination
    supports secure POP and IMAP, along with mail submission via
    SSL and TLS, thus accomodating horribly broken clients like Outlook.
    Building a cluster of such systems (to distribute load and provide
    fault-tolerance) is a well-understood exercise.

    Second, any solution w
    • by ionpro (34327)
      It's a hell of a lot more expensive then free. I have no idea how big this school is, but my school [vanderbilt.edu] has 6k undergrads, 10k grad+undergrad, and 25k overall (including the medical center). To provide spam filtering for our users, virus scanning, and mail delivery, it requires something on the order of 50 servers -- well over half running open source tools on Solaris boxes, the remaining 30% or so Win2k3/Exchange. Educational e-mail is very high volume: we deliver well over three million messages per month, an
  • please note the vendor neutrality, here

    You mean forget everything I know? No way! Even if I thought outsourcing email was a good idea, M$ is the last group I'd trust. I don't, but I can say that LSU's outsourced email works.

  • My university has recently disabled forwarding of university mail to outside mail servers. This was because much of the mail coming from school organizations is spam-like and enough students were marking it as spam that some popular mail services were dumping important university mail to spam folders.

    However, the forwarding ban was only for *external* mail servers. Other mail servers within the school's domain were OK. So I forwarded my university mail to the Computer Science Department's internal mail serv
  • The suggestion to write to / write an article for the university newspaper is a good one.

    Another good one is to get in touch with Alumni. If you can contact any of the technically minded ones, get them involved. Nothing hurts a university more than uproar from Alumni who are perspective donors.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.

Working...