Since the launch of Google Apps Education Edition in October 2006, millions of people at thousands of schools in more than 100 countries have been using our free email and collaboration tools. We love hearing from newly deployed schools like Loyola Marymount University, Westmont College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Chapman University, Saint Ignatius High School, and California State University, Chico (to name a few) about how they're now able to use Apps in teaching, learning, and researching on campus, while also saving time and money.

While we continue to see more and more U.S. schools moving to Google Apps, we find it especially exciting to see that the trend of outsourcing online communication and collaboration needs is catching on in other parts of the world. In Australia, for example, the New South Wales Department of Education recently migrated 1.5 million students to Google Apps. The University of Adelaide also just announced that it is offering to its 16,000 students email services and other online tools as part of the Apps suite, at no cost to the university. Many other schools and colleges in this region have also recently deployed Google Apps, including Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management in Taoyuan County Taiwan, Air University in Islamabad Pakistan, Univesitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia, the International College of Management in Sydney, and schools across New Zealand like Fendalton School.

To help spread the word about Apps, the team in India came up with the Got the "App"titude Challenge, which encouraged students, faculty members and alumni from all engineering and management schools throughout India to move their institutions to Google Apps. The challenge created quite a stir, and after launching in August, we received almost 6,000 sign-ups. Each college team consisted of students, alumni and faculty who worked closely with IT staff to identify challenges in their existing email and collaboration solutions. Working with a Googler, the teams then demonstrated ways Google Apps could be used to address these challenges. The performance of each team was evaluated by measuring product usage after their deployment.

We'd like to extend our congratulations to the XL CONNECT team from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, who won the challenge by demonstrating the highest usage of Google Apps products.

As a result of the challenge, more than 100 colleges across India are now in the process of implementing Apps in their institutions. And we look forward to seeing more and more schools all over the world adopt Google Apps.

Countries shaded in blue represent active Apps users in that area.