Microsoft plans to begin rolling out its latest service refresh to its Live@edu academic customers in February 2011, according to a UK Live@edu team blog post.

The February refresh will add federation support, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange functionality and overall performance improvements to the service.

Live@edu is a set of Microsoft-hosted services, including hosted Exchange (Outlook Live), Office Live Workspace and SkyDrive storage. (Microsoft also announced in 2009 plans to add hosted SharePoint to the Live@edu bundle.) The suite is available to students and academics. Microsoft is rebranding Live@edu as Office 365 for Education and will be adding new free and optional paid services to that offering in 2011.

According to the Live@edu UK post, the transition to Office 365 for Education is slated for the second half of 2011.