II Smartphone devices or 30GB Zune digital media players.
REDMOND, Wash., March 4 /-/ -- Microsoft Corp. today is celebrating the public availability of Microsoft Office Live Workspace (http://workspace.officelive.com) beta, the new Web-based extension of Microsoft Office that lets students, faculty and staff access their documents online and share their work with others. To mark the occasion, Microsoft is launching a sweepstakes for U.S.-based Office Live Workspace users, offering more than 30,000 prizes including a $100,000 grand prize that the winner could use to fund a college education, a new business or favorite charity -- the choice is up to the individual.
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the beta, and thousands of those pre-registered have been invited to provide feedback on the service. The Office team has also been working with a number of U.S. colleges and universities, including Florida Community College at Jacksonville, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Vanderbilt University, where Office Live Workspace is being used by participating students, faculty members and administrators to enhance sharing and collaboration within the classroom and among student teams and extracurricular projects.
"Both in the classroom and in our IT operations, we have tried various forms of collaboration," said Matthew Jett Hall, assistant vice chancellor, information technology services and associate chief information architect of enterprise infrastructure at Vanderbilt University. "Office Live Workspace combines all of the amazing ease of use that you expect from Microsoft Office with the convenience and security of Web-based storage. The best of both worlds allows you to collaborate, edit and share in ways that previously never existed. This is a great execution of a wonderful concept."
Office Live Workspace also represents a critical collaboration component of the Microsoft Live@edu initiative. In addition to Office Live Workspace, the Live@edu program offers students and alumni 5 GB of e-mail inbox capacity, 5 GB of password-protected online storage space, shared calendars and blogging tools, and access to these services on a mobile phone, all at no cost to the school or student. The collaboration opportunity afforded by Office Live Workspace is important to allowing students and faculty to work together online. Today, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is rolling out Office Live Workspace campuswide to its 16,000 active, continuing education and incoming students, its alumni, and its more than 700 faculty members and administrators as part of a broader Live@edu initiative. Since Microsoft Live@edu launched in March 2005, more than 600 schools in 40 countries have chosen the Live@edu suite. More information about Microsoft Live@edu can be found at http://get.live.com/edu.
Microsoft Office Live Workspace "Sweeping" Campuses
Students are using Office Live Workspace to organize study groups, work together on assignments, share class notes, and keep shared schedules and group task lists. Office Live Workspace can also be used to keep track of important information such as sports or job schedules, class registration deadlines, or progress toward degree requirements.
Jason Liu, a senior biomedical engineering student at Duke University, uses Office Live Workspace. "The majority of my engineering classes have a group project component to them where it's necessary to work on a single document together," Liu said. "As a group, we can work together more efficiently and in a more organized way by sharing documents on Office Live Workspace. We don't have to fret about who has the most up-to-date version or whether or not everybody's edits are in sync, and we don't have to coordinate our busy schedules in order to be in the same room to work on a paper together -- it's helping me lower my stress levels."
Paul Seitz, a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University studying business finance and economics, uses Office Live Workspace for document access, collaboration, group projects and any time multiple people need access to a shared document. "My roommate and I use the service to work on German assignments together, and it doesn't matter if we're in the same room, on opposite ends of campus or even in different cities for the weekend -- it's a snap to hop online and have instant access to my homework," Seitz said.
Fund a College Education, a New Business or Favorite Charity
To celebrate today's beta launch, Microsoft is also launching a nationwide sweepstakes. Participants may enter the sweepstakes starting today by registering for Office Live Workspace at http://workspace.officelive.com. Participants can also earn up to two bonus entries to increase their chances of winning when they upload their first document to their Office Live Workspace account and the first time they share a document or workspace with anyone. The Office Live Workspace sweepstakes will run through May 11, 2008. Winners will be selected around May 15, 2008. Microsoft will award a $100,000 grand prize plus an assortment of more than 30,000 daily and weekly prizes including Xbox 360 Elite video game systems, Samsung Blackjack II Smartphone devices, 30GB Zune players, Expedia hotel and package coupons, Microsoft Office Professional 2007 and numerous other prizes. More details about the sweepstakes are online at http://www.officelive.com/workspace/sweepstakes.
Access Anywhere, Share and Extend the Microsoft Office Experience
Office Live Workspace lets people organize documents and projects online, and work on them from almost any computer. People can save more than 1,000 Microsoft Office documents to one place online,* and access and share them via the Web. People can view and comment on documents in the browser, as well as create simple Web lists and Web notes, and share documents and applications in real time through integration with Microsoft SharedView.
Microsoft Office Live Workspace is being offered free of charge. Microsoft plans to offer the beta program later this year in various languages for international markets. The company also expects to release the final public version of Office Live Workspace later in the year.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* Based on average file size and use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint by
students, work and home users.