Google has begun to ask college students to voice their opinions on campus based e-mail services. This has been done most likely to help Google better understand how to improve its suite of communications services aimed at colleges and universities users.
Google is silently offering a version of its Google Apps product for educational institutions for about a year now. The offering includes e-mail, instant messaging, document collaboration and calendaring tools. There are already several users that use the product. Google provides the service for free to colleges and universities that are accredited as non-profits.
Thus far, however, reception to the offering has been somewhat cool, and it is likely Google is looking for ways to attract more institutions by offering services and features that students want.
An online survey has been posted on Google's Web site. In it, participants are asked to respond to five questions related to their habits and preferences when it comes to both e-mail and online applications.
Google also asks how satisfied the student is with his or her school's current system, likely giving the company a better idea of which schools may benefit from Google's services.
Well, Google is not the only Web e-mail provider attempting to lure colleges and universities: Microsoft offers a similar package called Live@edu, now used at about 100 colleges worldwide.
Microsoft hopes using the services in college would turn the student into a life-long user of the company's online applications.