Gmail pilot for students this fall?

The campus is looking at contracting out some of its campus email services to either Microsoft or Google. Information and Educational Technology is exploring whether or not the campus should try Google's service, Apps for Education, in a fall pilot program.

As the campus grows in size and technological sophistication, it has become more challenging for Geckomail, the campus email system, to meet users' needs. Working with Microsoft or Google would let UC Davis redirect more of its resources into upgrading other critical information technology programs while improving email services for students.

Both companies have expansive email systems, and work hard to keep them competitive. Their size helps them offer higher storage volumes and richer features than are available through Geckomail. Also, about 3,100 campus email users already redirect their campus email to Gmail, Hotmail or similar free systems. That's less than 5 percent of the 64,000 total UC Davis email accounts, but the number is growing.

In March, the campus surveyed students on potential email changes. Concerns centered on storage, keeping their "" email tag with lifetime access, plus virus protection and spam filtering. In April, representatives from Microsoft and Google discussed their services with about a dozen students in an information session on campus.

Based on the survey and the session, students lean toward Gmail. IET will continue to consult students, faculty, and staff as it moves toward a final decision on a tryout. Find updates online here or by reading TechNews.