Microsoft is bringing its widely adopted Live@edu collaboration suite to Moodle, the open source learning management system (LMS) that's installed at more than 35,000 registered, validated sites worldwide. Microsoft also unveiled today its new Education Labs site, which will serve as a repository for education software developed on an accelerated cycle. Through a new plugin developed by Microsoft and released today, Moodle users will be able to take direct advantage of Live@edu features, including calendaring, search, e-mail, shared workspaces, storage, and instant messaging.
Live@edu is Microsoft's free portal, communications, and collaboration suite for education. The cross-platform service provides a range of hosted solutions for education institutions, including mail (with 10 GB per user), Windows Live SkyDrive storage (25 GB), and Office Live Workspace collaboration and document sharing, among others. According to Microsoft, it's now in use by more than 9 million students worldwide. With more than 24 million users participating in more than 2.2 million courses, Moodle is generally recognized as the most popular learning management system on the market, open source or otherwise. It supports both small and large deployments (with several sites well beyond 100,000 users) and includes course management tools, various Web 2.0 technologies, online assessments, and other features common to learning management systems.