Whitney Houston isn't the only one who believes that "children are our future." Google appears to be crafting a business model based on gaining widespread exposure for its Google Apps at universities like the University of California Santa Cruz.
As reported in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, UCSC is considering outsourcing its e-mail system to Google. Such a move would alleviate performance problems suffered under the existing e-mail system -- including overloaded servers, non-delivery and slow response times -- and would double users' storage capacity from one gigabyte to two gigabytes. It also wouldn't cost UCSC a dime.
"It's a way of saying that e-mail and messaging is becoming one of those basic infrastructure services needed to run an organization -- like telephone service or data networks," says the director of the school's computer and telecommunications systems.
Not everyone at UCSC is convinced of this, reports the article, noting that there are concerns about privacy and trusting an outsider with data backup.
This isn't the first such deal for Google, which uses university alliances to create "users for life," says the executive who oversees the search giant's Apps for Education program. Earlier this year, it replaced the proprietary e-mail system at the University of Arizona with Google Apps, which includes Google Talk and Google Calendar in addition to Gmail.
While Google agrees not to place advertising in student e-mails as part of its standard contracts with universities, alumni are fair game. Google is working with UCSC to provide its e-mail service to alums.