Princeton University’s Office of Information Technology recently polled 150 students who tested Google Apps’ Gmail and Microsoft Office 365 and results showed only two preferred the latter.
According to The Daily Princetonian, the undergraduate student government is collaborating with OIT to move the student body from its current email server Webmail to either Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365.
Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that features several Web application user-interfaces similar to traditional office suites—like Microsoft Office 365. The services vary per edition but generally include Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Sites, Groups, Video, and Marketplace. Its popularity among students and educational institutions is rapidly increasing due to enhanced sharing features, accessibility, and cost.
Google Apps for Education is just one edition that offers 25 GB of storage space per user for free through K-12 schools, colleges, and universities with up to 30,000 users. Forty-million active users currently use Google Apps, and according to US News & World Report, 61 of the Top 100 schools have switched to the educational service.
USG IT Committee Chair Josh Chen said the University’s polled students prefer Gmail due to its “many benefits and no drawbacks.” Meanwhile, U-Councilor Lily Alberts said the poll’s results likely attribute to the student’s prior familiarity with Gmail during pilot testing. The group of 150 students piloted the two options, and those students came from a pool that replied to an earlier campus-wide email.