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Friday, June 02, 2023

UF starts switching student email accounts to the cloud

Last week, UF students were given the choice to opt in to a new email service and a host of new technology.

The updated email service is available now for students, and includes an expanded 25 gigabytes of storage, an integrated calendar function and access to a global address book, said Tracy Gale, communications manager for UF Information Technology.

Gale said she expects the transition to be smooth because so many students are already comfortable with multiple email accounts.

The new service has been tested on a variety of mobile devices, she said, including iPhone, Android and Windows devices.

The universal address book is something Gale said she believes will be the greatest asset for students. Instead of searching for classmates’ and professors’ email addresses, they will all be available in the email service.

Todd Williams, a system administrator and programmer with UFIT, wrote in an email that 464 UF students opted in to the new service in the first week.

In the coming semesters, students will gain access to cloud versions of all Microsoft products, Lync, Sharepoint and Skydrive, which is similar to Dropbox.

Students will have the opportunity to use the video-calling service Microsoft Lync. Gale calls the service, “like a better Skype.”

“There are applications for this that are so much more convenient and time-sensitive because students have so many demands on their time,” she said.

Gale said all students will be switched to the new email service by the end of the Spring 2014 semester, followed by faculty and staff by Fall 2014.

Under the new system, users can no longer forward messages to outside email services like Gmail, according to the website.

The switch to the cloud service is part of UF’s move to update all aspects of the university experience for the upcoming debut of UF Online, which begins in January.

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“Students coming to campus now have an expectation level of technology that is cutting edge,” Gale said, “and we need to meet that challenge.”

People who want to transition now can visit The content in Gatorlink mailboxes will be copied over, according to the site.

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 11/18/2013 under the headline "UF starts updating email"

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