Google is asking college students to voice their opinions on campus e-mail services, likely aimed at giving the company a better understanding of how to improve its suite of communications services aimed at colleges and universities.
The Mountain View, Calif. search giant has been 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.
Several schools already use the product, including Arizona State and Northwestern University. Google provides the service for free to schools 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.
"University students lead hectic lives and are ready for email that helps them better organize themselves and communicate with others," Google's education division head Jeff Keitner said. "We're asking students to share their thoughts on campus email so we can help to make that experience even better."
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.
The search company 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.
Google, Campus, Email, Campus e-mail, Seeking, Opinion