Microsoft uses swine flu to promote service

Microsoft has come up with a novel use for its online Office Live Workspace document sharing service. On a new website the company recommends that teachers should use the tools it provides to "continue the learning online" by sharing school work with any students that may have contracted the flu virus and are unable to attend class.

The levels of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (or swine flu to you and me) infection are expected to rise again as school children and students return to schools, colleges and universities, and Microsoft seem to be trying to use the pandemic to increase usage of their free online storage service for Office documents. Information about the benefits of using the service to share assignments, handouts and presentations is listed on the new microsoft.com/education/h1n1 mini-site. Other resources available include tips and how-to videos, according to a Microsoft press release.

In a blog posting, Anthony Salcito - the vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft - said, "The H1N1 pandemic highlights the need for institutions to think more holistically about blended learning environments...that these online and distance learning solutions are valuable not only when you have to respond to classroom outages or school closures, but also creates an opportunity to connect and share information between a student and teacher beyond the classroom all the time."

The Office Live Workspace service itself provides 5GB of space for uploading files such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, and then gives the ability to share your workspace or individual documents with up to 100 people. Documents can be viewed through just a traditional web browser, meaning you don't need Microsoft Office installed to have a look at the files.

Basic editing and collaboration tools are available through simple online applications which will eventually be replaced by the new Office Web Apps. We also expect the new Windows Live Documents service to replace Office Live Workspace when it launches next year as part of Windows Live Wave 4.

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18 Comments

We have had our first swine flu at school this week! Funny to see everyone fussing around about it but still sharing food etc all the time :-p that's just high school I guess.

I don't really see the point in this stuff though... Doesn't every school already have a sharing and communication site by now? Then why use this... doesn't

I don't think it being lethal is the point.

It's the time missed by employees/students who are absent, and Swine flu is spreading faster than normal flu.

Solid Knight said,
Swine flu is a problem? Isn't it less lethal than "regular" flu?

No its not less but there is no vaccine for it, thats why its an issue (unless there is now that I'm not aware of).

There is one... and it'll be widely available by the real onset of flu season come October... i think Canada's going to LITERALLY have more then 50% more doses then they have humans in their country just in case there's a need elsewhere.

Solid Knight said,
Swine flu is a problem? Isn't it less lethal than "regular" flu?

Yes, but people think it's more of a problem, which is what MS is using here.

There's another worry that the virus may mutate into something more lethal, like it has done in earlier pandemics. It's quite a likely and valid threat, but hopefully the vaccine will hit the spread of the virus hard before anything too worrying can mutate out of it.

Solid Knight said,
Swine flu is a problem? Isn't it less lethal than "regular" flu?

The point is that it is very contagious as we don't have immunity to it. Luckily it didn't mutate into a particularly lethal virus yet because that would have been trouble. Currently the main risk is still through mutation but also the fact that lots of downtime comes from everyone in the office getting the flu.

tablet_user said,
whats wrong with what they are saying?? its not false advertising.

It's a feeble attempt to start some sort of flamewar. Must be a slow news day, and they need hits.

Mega Goatlord said,
It's a feeble attempt to start some sort of flamewar. Must be a slow news day, and they need hits.


Or, they're a news site, that reports news.

Man, I wish if my school used Office Live, life would be easy. Right now, teachers have their own websites, with domains flying all over the place.

yes... that's the reason that influenza of any for exists... to drive you behind in school / work and risk your grade/ career.

oh wait...

Rolith said,
yes... that's the reason that influenza of any for exists... to drive you behind in school / work and risk your grade/ career.

oh wait...


Well, it could be viewed that way if you believe in God!

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