So maybe it's not the end of Microsoft Outlook, but the news coming from Australia this week may be a sign of the changing times for the mighty Marketing machine. Google's Gmail application has kicked Outlook out of the schools by Australia's education sector. The New South Wales Department of Education has announced that Gmail will replace Outlook as the email application for over 1.3 million students. A big win for Google, a big loss for Microsoft. The leading bid was won by SMS Management and Technology to deliver a customized version of Gmail to 1.3 million students. They are the prime contractor alongside Google and Telstra for the contract which is valued at $9.3 million ($AU) over the next three years. This is said to be one the largest private deployments of Gmail in the world. Important to note that for the last few years, Microsoft Outlook was the email application of choice for the NSW Education Department. Things must have not gone too well or Google would have still been sitting at the wayside trying to get in. They were definitely a cheaper option to Microsoft which cost the department $33 million ($AU) over three years. The win is for students only, as teachers will be moved to the agency's corporate email system (which is?). In addition, they won't have access to Google Talk. What they will have is 6GB of mail storage space -- as compared to 35 MB with Outlook. "We've modelled it so we can grow substantially on the current email traffic and still have a cost-effective solution," Mr Wilson said. The service will be hosted by Google in North America, but they are looking at options to do some hosting locally to cut down on international bandwidth requirements to operate the service. Australia's Macquarie University implemented Gmail in September last year, making this one Google's second win in the education sector in Australia. TechCrunch reported this news earlier this week. In reading the vast array of comments that follow it, there's one from James that catches the eye:
Just received an email today from the University of Auckland in New Zealand (another 40,000+ students) who are changing over early next month. “The University of Auckland is currently in the process of changing the EC Mail provider to Google. This means that EC Mail will now be running through Google’s mail interface, with all the associated features. The actual change will be taking place on 9th July 2008.”
All this is, of course, good news Google. But is Microsoft really suffering from this blow? It may have taken a few dollars out the giants pocket book and was likely a blow to some egos, but they'll bounce back - they always do -- they have SharePoint remember?