Migrating from live@edu to Office 365 for education: Part 2 Upgrading


In part 1 we talked about a customer of BFC Networks who received an email around being ready and completing a survey before they could upgrade (they are still waiting for the next step).  Interestingly, another customer of ours has had an email to say they can upgrade now.  They didn’t received a readiness survey.

Upgrade Email

The email below arrived during the night

Customer is invited to upgrade from Live@edu to Office 365 for education now. You preserve and extend your investment in the world’s leading productivity suite while giving your faculty, staff, and students the features they already count on—and more—for free.

  • Once you complete the automated upgrade, Customer.com (and any accepted domains) will be subscribed to the free Exchange Online Plan 1 for academic. You don’t have to move email, calendars, or contacts; re-provision accounts, or retrain people on how to use email.
  • Once you’re on Exchange Online Plan 1, add Office 365 for education Plan A2 for free for students, faculty, and staff. Plan A2 includes everything in Exchange Online Plan 1, plus SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and the ability to create, view, and edit documents using the Office Web Apps: Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and OneNote Web App.

As part of this invitation, you initiate each stage of the upgrade, and have complete control over when you start. When a stage completes and you can start the next one, we’ll email the administrator and critical notifications contacts.
Here’s how to get started:

  1. Read the upgrade help. Start with the overview to learn what you and your users will experience during and after the upgrade.
  2. Get ready. Do the tasks in the before-upgrade checklist, including creating temporary passwords for all users, and making sure everyone knows what to do to enable email access after the upgrade.
  3. Start the upgrade. Go to the Live@edu Service Management Portal, sign in and follow the instructions.
    • You’ll receive an email sent from Microsoft Office 365 after you start the upgrade that provides a temporary Microsoft Online Services ID. Please ignore this email: the upgrade uses your current Live@edu admin account.

If your school has students aged 13 or younger and is located in the United States, consider how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) applies to you.
Questions? Please see the
Live@edu upgrade wiki or contact Live@edu Support.
The Live@edu Team

Live@edu Service Management Portal & Upgrade

So I’ve logged into the live@edu tenancy and have found an extra box has appeared on the front page.



Click UPGRADE DOMAINS and you will notice that the first section now says IN PROGRESS.


For this tenancy the IN PROGRESS stayed on the page for less than 25 minutes but you have to manually refresh the page to see if there are any differences.

Once it is completed the page will look like this.

Select UPGRADE USERS.  While the upgrade takes place, users will not be able to access their email.


A popup box will appear.  Click OK if you are ready to upgrade your users


You are asked to log in again and the upgrade of users will take place.


This process took 10 minutes for my number of users and I had to refresh the screen to find out if it had completed or not.

Step 3 is to create a temporary password for the Office 365 Admin Account.


You are now shown a upgrade complete page.


If you want to read the after-upgrade checklist for administrators you can by clicking here.

You now need to log into Office 365 for education!


Migrating from live@edu to Office 365 for education: Part 1 Readiness Survey


One of my customers has received that all important email about migrating to Office 365 for education.  Thank you to Martin to allow me to blog the process they have gone through.

You will receive an email from the Microsoft


=”mailto:Live@edu”>Live@eduemail services called Prepare for the Live@edu upgrade and will be asked to complete a readiness assessment.


The process is going to ask you a set of questions which will help you to manage the process of migrating to Office 365 for education

When the link has opened you will get this website.


The first question is around your domain.


Note: I have covered the domain name which is listed on the page.

The next question is around how you provision accounts.


You are then asked about how your passwords are changed.


Single Sign On is next.


You are next asked how to plan to create users in Office 365.

Here are a few details in case you aren’t sure

  • Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronisation: If you are using DirSync already, this is the replacement in Office 365
  • Office 365 PowerShell: There are a set of PowerShell commands in Office 365 that you will find useful and better than live@edu
  • Exchange PowerShell: I would recommend that you don’t use this
  • Exchange Control Panel: I would recommend that you don’t use this
  • Office 365 Admin Portal: The Admin Portal is where you configure your tenancy, similarly to Service Management Portal in live@edu


This might be different for different tenancies (I don’t know).  Select when you would like to be upgraded.  Remember that Microsoft have said that is not guaranteed.


That is the last of the questions and you are ask to click next to be taken back to the live@edu Upgrade Centre.



Once this customer is notified of their upgrade I will blog part 2 (what ever the next step are). Winking smile

First Step for migrating to Office 365 for education from Live@Edu


Microsoft have started sending information out to different school about their current tenancy and it’s migration to Office 365 for education.  Here’s that information if you don’t receive the emails.


Office 365 for education will provide free Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online to students, faculty, and staff.
Starting in summer 2012, Microsoft will begin upgrading educational institutions using Live@edu to Office 365 for education. This upgrade gives students, faculty and staff free access to the same versions of key Office 365 tools available to enterprises, extending your investment in Live@edu. This upgrade does not require mailboxes, calendars, or contacts to be moved; reprovision accounts; or re-train users on e-mail. Your users can keep their email address – plus get new tools that make it easier to communicate and collaborate.
The automated upgrade process will automatically subscribe you to Exchange Online Plan 1.

Next steps
For now, continue to use your current Live@edu services and look for further announcements about the upgrade. You’ll receive an email letting you know when your institution can upgrade, including details on how to start the automated upgrade process and resources for notifying students and training your help desk.

There are several tasks you can do now to begin getting ready:

  • Make sure your contact information and Institution Profile are correct in the Live@edu Service Management Portal.
  • Review the Office 365 system requirements, and make sure all client desktops are ready.
  • For a high-level preview of what to expect, visit the Live@edu to Office 365 upgrade centre.

We appreciate your commitment to the Microsoft platform. We look forward to upgrading your educational institution to Office 365 for education.

Microsoft Online Services

Live@edu Customer Update: Updates to SkyDrive


I have a few customers that I look after from a live@edu point of view so I receive notification from Microsoft about updates to the customers tenancy such as SSO certificates as well as Microsoft general update emails.

I have received a very interesting email in the last week which might help answer a few questions for when the service is migrated to Office 365 for Education as well as the recent changes to SkyDrive (which you can also read here).

At the bottom of the email (and this post) you will see that it talks about SkyDrive not being included in Office365 but it confirm that Microsoft will allow you users to continue to user the SkyDrive services when they are migrated to Office365 for education.

Happy reading.


Dear Live@edu Administrator,

We wanted to send you some information about recent updates to SkyDrive. These new apps and features make SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available and help your users to stay connected with the files most important to them.

Highlights of the release include:

  • SkyDrive for Windows (Vista, 7 and 8): SkyDrive is now automatically available from any desktop app and within Windows Explorer — supporting files of up to 2 GB (20x increase) and offline access.
  • SkyDrive for Mac: Brings our powerful file syncing app to the OS X Finder.
  • Upload larger files: Now you can upload large files: up to 2 GB from your desktop or up to 300 MB from SkyDrive.com.
  • Fetch: Forgotten to put a file in your SkyDrive folder? Not a problem. You can access any file stored on your Windows PC from SkyDrive.com in your web browser remotely.
  • SkyDrive updates for mobile devices: – Access and share any file on the go with SkyDrive for Windows Phone, iPhone or iPad.

In addition, we are announcing new, more flexible storage options – up to 100 GB of additional storage. Users receive 7 GB of free storage, which is more than any other service. It is enough to keep about 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos, which is more than enough for most people. Our data shows that 99.94% of all SkyDrive users currently store less than 7 GB, so this change will not have a significant impact on how people use SkyDrive.

For those who have been using SkyDrive regularly, as a thank-you for being loyal customers, we are offering the opportunity to keep their SkyDrive storage limit at the original 25 GB for a limited time. Users who currently store more than 4 GB in their SkyDrive have automatically been upgraded to 25 GB. Please note that users who qualify for the offer have been notified in-product. Those who have SkyDrive accounts but have never utilised the service are not eligible for this offer, so we ask that you do not communicate this offer broadly to your users.

We value our relationship and Live@edu’s partnership with your establishment, and we realise this is an appreciable difference from what was originally offered with the service. This decision did not come about lightly, but was a necessary change that allows us to better meet our users’ needs by offering easier-to-use and more flexible cloud storage. We’re excited about the new features and apps for SkyDrive and look forward to delivering more SkyDrive improvements in the future.
For more information please visit the SkyDrive homepage, share the SkyDrive at School page with your users or, if you have any questions, please post them on Microsoft Answers.

Office 365 for education
Although SkyDrive is not included in Office 365, it’s important to note that your current SkyDrive users will not lose anything they store in SkyDrive after your establishment upgrades to Office 365 for education. Your users will continue to have access to all their files in SkyDrive, plus your establishment will have the added benefits of SharePoint Online with powerful features like intranet sites, seamless integration with Exchange Online and Lync Online, as well as a rich set of enterprise-level administrative tools not found in SkyDrive and other consumer services.

Yours sincerely,

Live@edu team

Notice to all Live@edu Customers around SkyDrive and keeping 25GB Cloud Storage


As more and more educational institutions are migrating to cloud services, Microsoft have secured 7 million more users for their live@edu email service in India but there are a few changes to the Live services that are part of live@edu then you need to be aware of.

Blue-Black MS Live@edu logo

New users to SkyDrive as of the 22nd April who want to take advantage of SkyDrive will be given 7GB of space instead of the old 25GB.

For existing user who are using SkyDrive (who have uploaded files already) are still entitled to the 25GB but have to log into SkyDrive and request this.  Ensure that this message get to all your staff and students using live@edu or SkyDrive so they can take advantage of keeping that size.

Don’t be thinking that Microsoft are being harsh by reducing the default, they are actually offering more.  For a small cost you can now purchase a annual subscription to higher SkyDrive storage ranging up to 100GB.

When you log into SkyDrive you will see a similar looking section as the below image.  Click on Free Upgrade! to get your 25GB back.


Live@edu Branding


In this blog post we are going to brand our live@edu Outlook Live Web Access. 


By default you get the standard yellow theme which is a collection of 3 images and some colouring.  This can all be changed within the domain management which you can access with your admin user for live@edu.

Note: Any changes you publish can take up to 24 hours to be deployed if you have kept to the image size guidelines.

Go to http://domain.live.com and login with you live@edu admin account.

Select the domain you wish to manage.


Down the left hand side you will see a navigation bar.  Select Co-branding and then Outlook Live.



There are 3 images in total.  Here is what they are by default.

The Organisation Logo

Central Background Banner

Side Background Banner
image image 

To help understand where these are I have branded a site with 3 colours, Red, Blue and Green for you to see where each of the images sit.


When creating new images for your site you should meet the requirement of the size otherwise you will have problem uploading the images and publishing your changes.  You should save the file type as a PNG.

Organisation Logo (Red)
Max. height (pixels): 42
Max. width (pixels): 60
Max. Colour (bit): 32
Max. size (KB): 30

Background Banner (Blue)
Max. height (pixels): 159
Max. width (pixels): 1009
Max. Colour (bit): 32
Max. size (KB): 75

Side Background Banner (Green)
Max. height (pixels): 159
Max. width (pixels): 200
Max. Colour depth (bit): 32
Max. size (KB): 30

The side background banner on the left is the image you uploaded (green).  The image located on the right is a reflection of the image.

Application Colours

At the bottom of the Outlook Live Co-branding page there are several options to change the colours which are stored in the CSS file.

To help understand which colour is where on the page I put together a little chart.


Click to enlarge


Name Area on Site
Hover Colour: Red
  • Selected mailbox folder
  • Selected email
  • Hover over icon (New)image
Selected Colour: Bright Green
  • Hover over in top navigationimage
Hover Border Colour: Yellow
  • Border around hover over in top navigation
  • Border around individual emailsimage
Secondary selected border Colour: Purple
  • Hover over New item, move item and other Outlook functions
Header Text Colour: Light Purple
  • Name of organisation
  • Your display name next to your online presence
  • image 
Link Colour: Teal
  • Text in navigation drop down
  • Text in New, Move item etcimage
Sign Out text: Brown
  • Unknown
Theme Colour: Orange
  • Text in email previewimage

Previewing and Publishing your Design

We can preview our design before publishing it out for everyone to see.

Fill in your co-branding page, upload your images and fill in the colour for the application colour and click Save.


You won’t be able to see your design yet.  Down the left hand side click on Co-branding.

Then click on Preview changes.  Only your account will be able to see the branding changes.


Note: You may need to clear your internet cache before seeing the changes.

Once you are happy with your design hit the publish button.



Update to live@edu on its way in February


Microsoft are making some improvements to their current live@edu services in the new year around the Outlook Web App, Exchange Management Console and spam/anti virus protection.

Notification: February 2011 Service Update

We are pleased to announce the upcoming deployment of the February 2011 Service Update. This service update will include the addition of several features including those to assist deployment of new users, enhancements to the Exchange Control Panel, updates to Outlook Web App (OWA), new capabilities for compliance, policy, SPAM and anti-virus management.
We want to provide all tenant administrators with advanced notification of this upcoming change, as well as share several changes to the deployment process in order to provide greater customer flexibility and awareness of the deployment. Deployment of this service update will begin in January 2011 and is expected to last at least until April 2011. We do not anticipate any impact to service availability or reliability but if we feel that these measures are at risk, we will take corrective action which could extend the deployment window.

Deployment of the Service Update

The deployment of the service update will be tenant or domain based, meaning that all users for a given tenant or domain will be upgraded during the same limited period of time. We expect that it will take less than one week to deploy the update to a given tenant. During this period of time, no interruption of service is expected. Once a user’s mailbox has been updated, the user will see some minor enhancements to the Outlook Web App interface.
In addition to this notification, one week prior to the update beginning for a tenant, we will send out notification to the appropriate administrator(s) alerting them that the update is about to start. Once the update begins we will not be able to suspend the process. Upon completion of the update, we will send notification to the administrator(s) that the process has been completed.
By default, we assume that we can deploy the service update to all tenants, beginning on 21 January 2011. Our current estimate is that it will take approximately four months to update all tenants. We will provide administrators with two ways to influence scheduling the start of the deployment of the service update:

First, until 14 January, a tenant administrator may request that we delay their deployment of the service update until after a specific date or prior to a specific date. Acceptable dates range from 14 January 2011 to 8 April 2011. To request this, the tenant administrator would open a support ticket with Microsoft providing information on their primary domain, all accepted domains and the requested date to have the update completed prior to or the date until which the start of the update is to be delayed. Requests are considered pending until they are reviewed and confirmed by Microsoft.
Secondly, when we send out the one week notification to the administrator(s), the administrator will have three days to request to delay the update via a support ticket. This request will need to include the primary domain, all accepted domains and the date that the update is to be delayed until. It is not possible to delay later than 8 April 2011. Requests are considered pending until they are reviewed and confirmed by Microsoft.

Finally, we will not be able to provide an actual start date or estimated start date until one week prior to the start of the update for a given tenant.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns about this particular service update by contacting support. As the deployment of the service update progresses, we will provide additional updates via the administrator forum on www.outlookliveanswers.com.

More information on Office 365 for Education


More information has come out from Microsoft this week around Office 365 for Education.  As mentioned in a previous post we only had limited information but during the past week Microsoft had a presentation day for Higher Education establishments which included a presentation on live@edu and Office 365 for Education.

The slides from the presentation can be downloaded here.

What made me laugh..

If this is live@edu


this is what Office 365 for Education will be…


Differences between live@edu and Office 365 for Education

In previous posts we discussed what’s coming in new and the differences to the current live@edu.  Here is a better view from the presentation.


Meeting Student and Educator Needs

  • Works seamlessly with Microsoft Office programs  that users already count on and teaches students new software skills that will help them prepare for the future
  • Provide sites for students and educators to work together in real time on assignments, group projects, and research – both inside and outside your institution
  • Communicate seamlessly from email to instant messaging to online classrooms, including audio, video and screen sharing
  • Helps students and educators become more productive with a 25GB mailbox that unifies email and voicemail (Unified Messaging)
  • Makes scheduling easier by showing who and what resources are available, such as projectors or meeting rooms
  • Allow users to see whether other students or educators are online


Learning from Anywhere

  • Provide users anywhere-access to their email, assignments and calendar on nearly any device*
  • Works with devices that students and educators use most — including PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry
  • Rich experience with Outlook Web App on a broad set of browsers or offline access via Office desktop applications on PCs and Macs
  • View and edit assignments with Office Web Apps across a broad range of browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome)
  • Connect securely over Internet with HTTPS without the need for VPN.


Lower Costs

  • Reduce the time and effort spent managing email and collaboration servers, such as patch upgrades and security updates, while still keeping you in control
  • 24/7, IT professional phone support or via electronic ticketing
  • Hybrid deployment scenarios allow on-premises and online users to work together seamlessly
  • Simplified management with a single administration centre with role based access
  • Ease of interoperability with existing systems, such as SunGuard and Blackboard, through extensible platform.


Enterprise Security, Reliability and Privacy

  • Same 99.9% uptime commitment, backed by a SLA, as Office 365 for enterprises
  • Safeguard your data with enterprise-grade reliability, disaster recovery capabilities, geo-redundant, replicated, data centres and a strict privacy policy
  • Helps protect your email environment with premium anti-spam and antivirus protection provided by multiple virus scanning engines
  • Helps customers comply with ISO 27001, SAS 70 Type I, FERPA, HIPAA, FISMA, EU Safe Harbour Seal
  • Configure services to meet your institution’s unique needs and give your users access to only the services they need


What do we already know about Office 365 for Education?


We’ve had a quick look at the basic services of Office 365 for Education but what information do we already know about the services when it launches.



Mailboxes are increasing in size for their current size of 10GB in live@edu to 25GB with the send attachment now increased to 25MB per email.  You will still be able to connect your PC and Mac but also your Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry allowing you to access your mail 24/7 on the go.

You can also access your email on the go through your laptop.  Connect to the Outlook Web App from any browser or connect your Outlook client through Outlook Anywhere to download a cache of your emails to your laptop so you can create and read emails without having a network connection.

Office Web Applications

Teachers and Students will be able to read and quickly edit their documents online through a browser with Office Web Apps.  The Office Web Applications were released earlier this year and are available through Microsoft’s Live services but also as an extension to your SharePoint environment.

Team Sites

There isn’t too much information about Team Sites at the moment but we do know is that students will be able to share documents, task lists and create schedules.

Personal Storage

Microsoft already offers 25GB of space to staff and students and this doesn’t change.  Office 365 for Education still offers this storage through Windows Live SkyDrive.

SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010

We don’t now what services are coming within these yet but both products offer so much.

SharePoint has the ability to share and collaborate and has team sites.  I wonder if the Team Sites mentioned earlier will be run in SharePoint 2010 or Windows Live Workspaces?

Lync 2010 replaces Office Communications Server 2007 R2 allowing users to interact via text through one to one or one to many.

As more information is released I’ll let you know.