Microsoft Canada Co.

Microsoft Canada Co.

August 26, 2011 10:38 ET

Top Priority For Students This Fall: Staying Socially Connected

More important than academic success, Microsoft survey shows 94% of students want to stay connected with friends and family as they head back to school

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2011) - As students tackle the transition between grade school to high school, or high school to university, their top priority is to stay connected to their social sphere. A new study revealed today just how important it is to university students that they stay connected as they head off for a new school year.

The study, commissioned by Microsoft Canada, surveyed Canadian students 18 and older to ask them about their attitudes and concerns as they approach the 2011 back-to-school season.

It revealed that 94 per cent of students say it is important to them to keep in touch with friends and family during the school year. This type of social connectivity ranked higher amongst students than their concern about educational success (90%), budgeting and financing for the school year (92%), safety (51%) and making new friends (57%).

The findings are in keeping with the profile of this generation, according to Dr. Karyn Gordon, a leading North American expert on family and relationships.

"For Gen Y, staying connected with friends is their highest value because it equals security and stability. With nearly 50% of families ending in divorce, many of this generation view their friends as their primary form of stability," Dr. Gordon said. "In times of transition, such as moving from grade 8 to grade 9 and high school to university, being able to connect to their established base of friends helps students feel more secure, helping them better cope with new experiences."

Technology takes social connections up a notch with PC-driven experiences such as face-to-face video chat, email, and photos or videos sharing. Familiar technology such as Windows and Windows Live services become empowering tools that allow people to stay connected and build the exceptional relationships students need to help feel secure.

"The same technology students use to get ahead in school can be instrumental in helping students maintain those important connections to friends and family, "said Ben Kaye, Product Manager at Microsoft Canada. "With Windows-based PC, Windows Live and even Windows Phone, students have access to an amazing number of ways to connect and share – whether it's stories, photos, videos or even assignments – with their friends and family whenever or virtually wherever they are."

With Windows plus Windows Live, students have the must-have technology for back-to-school success. Here are Microsoft's top five tips for students this year:

  1. Set up a Sunday night chat with Mom and Dad. While friends are an important source of security and support for students, you can't neglect Mom and Dad. Sunday nights might not be the same, but you can check in on Mom and Dad using your Windows-based PC. Set up a weekly Sunday night video chat via Windows Live Messenger to establish a familiar routine that will help both parties adjust to the new school year.

  2. Don't miss a beat with your friends in different cities. Messenger offers great new ways to stay in touch, so students can connect with the people that matter to them the most – helping to bring a sense of security and stability to students who are experiencing change. Messenger makes is easy to chat or even just share a quick photo, allowing students to stay connected to their friends.

  3. Stay in touch and organized with Windows Live Hotmail. Hotmail is designed to help students stay connected by offering features for an efficient and clutter-free inbox whether on a mobile phone or a PC. For example, 1-Click Filters allow users to filter the e-mails they are currently viewing to show only those that are unread, from contacts, or from social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn so you can get to the important stuff fast. Helping students to be more organized can help to alleviate anxiety and stress.

  4. Never lose a term paper again. Spilled coffee on your term paper? Left your laptop back at the dorm? Not a problem with Windows Live Sky Drive. For the 90 percent that are worried about academic success, SkyDrive offers 25 GB of free storage space in the cloud, ensuring anytime, virtually anywhere access — from the dorm room, school library or friend's house – to the files that matter most.

  5. Ace your group projects with new Office Web Apps designed for success. Working on group projects can be challenging, but Office 2010 Web Apps make it a breeze. One of the best features is the ability to work together in real time, so everyone can write, edit and work on the same document at the same time. Lose the confusion and collaborate.

For more information on how to stay connected and get work done quicker, visit and And for easy how-to demos for Windows Live services such as Hotmail, Office Web Apps and Mesh visit

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT"), and the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Microsoft Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ont., with MSN.CA offices located in Toronto and eight regional offices across the country. The company supports local communities across Canada by creating innovative technology and partnerships that help people realize their full potential. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit

About the Survey

From August 8th to August 9th 2011 an online survey was conducted among 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults, including 118 students and 187 parents of children enrolled in school who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error for the full data set—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Dr. Karyn Gordon

Dr. Karyn Gordon is one of North America's leading relationship experts, and her mission is to inspire people to develop exceptional relationships at work and at home. She is a motivational speaker & trainer who has given over 1000 keynotes, a national media contributor, an author and a private consultant. She has worked with 100's of organizations (Fortune 500 Companies, Non Profits & Government) and families, bridging the gap between work and family cultures while educating about the EQ skills (motivation, communication, career direction) that improve all types of relationships. She has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Masters in Counseling and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family.

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