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Saturday, December 24, 2011

UC Berkley Goes With Google

UC Berkley recently decided on moving their students emails and calendars to the ever growing in popularity "Cloud" based solution so many businesses are raving about these days and in doing so created a bit of a buzz by detailing the reason behind their choice...Google. You can read the whole report here, but basically it shows reason for reason why Google was a better choice than the alternative, Microsoft's Office 365.

Google's Cloud solution is to basically put everything on their servers and let people access using whatever device can run a Google app or connect to the internet. Which elminates the need for building an entire infastructure and installing special software on thousands of computers in order to use it. All of their services and pretty much all their apps are free, the only thing the school has to pay for is the server cost of storing an accessing all that information. That's not to Google's cloud covers 100%  of the schools needs easily, some things like calendar control and the security issue still come up. As an added bonus Google promised to make the move over in less than 2 months with is a huge plus for the school, especially seeing as the University of Nebraska is still working on integrating Office 365 and they were the first to sign up early this past summer. That seems to be the deal breaker for Berkley.

Microsoft's approach to the whole Cloud deal is to install software on the machines that interface with Office 365's Cloud, that means anyone wanting to use Microsoft's solution will have to invest in software (which also means updating and upgrading it every time they push out a new version) on every single device a student might use to connect to their email accounts or calendars, thats a pretty big investment both on the school and students parts. There are some benefits to Microsoft's Cloud solution One of the biggest being the ability to create a more secure connection between the two by controlling more of the process. There are ways to connect to Microsoft's cloud without the apps, just by logging into a Microsoft account. Doing so however only provides limited access and defeats the whole purpose of the super-secure chain Microsoft builds by linking the software on both ends.

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