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Microsoft announced this week that it’s expanding its Office 365 University free trial to 3 free months, with 3 further months offered to students who share the offer on Facebook. In addition, students can get 20GB of additional SkyDrive storage. The free trial is available to enrolled full- and part-time university and college students, and faculty and staff in accredited institutions.

The caveat? The offer is available only to students and staff with an .edu email address. .edu email addresses are legally available only in US institutions, although some US-based Universities in other countries are eligible for it too. If you own an .edu address, you can enter it on the Office 365 University website to enjoy the offer.

Office 365 University includes access to the latest versions of Microsoft’s cross-platform desktop applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, its Web mail and calendar program, Outlook, and its pictures application, Publisher. After the free trial, the suite is available at a discounted student price of $80 for 4 years.

Students and faculty can download and install the suite of applications to 2 PCs or Macs, and they also get up to 20GB of online storage in Microsoft’s cloud service, SkyDrive. In addition, they receive 60 Skype minutes per month for online phone calls. By offering free access to Office and additional SkyDrive space, Microsoft becomes a fair competitor to Google, and can lock droves of students into using its products, even after they become paid.

To qualify for the 3 months of services, students will need to provide their .edu email address on the site, where they must also register and sign into a Microsoft account. The account will be used to manage your Office installs and benefits available as part of the subscription. With a registered Microsoft account, you can also get the additional 3 months of access by sharing the trial offer on Facebook. In turn, you will get a link to an extra 3 free months of trial access.

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Will 6 free months convince you to purchase Office 365? What do you think of the regional limitations of this offer?

Source: Office For Students

  1. Luis
    April 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    This is a great deal. It's based off of the Office365 Home Premium Edition other than it only includes 2 licenses and does not include Exchange and Lync. Read this article for an in-depth look at this.

  2. Sai K
    March 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    The idea of identifying students through '.edu' address; really a sad one.

  3. Dios
    March 14, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I'm like you SaapeXD MoHods....student with a univ that doesn't have email for no edu....same problem with amazon prime for edu...too bad so sad...
    oh well....

  4. dragonmouth
    March 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    MS has not given up their dream of subscription software.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      I didn't point this out in the article, but I'd rather just pay the full $139 purchase price, because you probably can get more than four years out of the software. However, Microsoft does restrict the number of times you can transfer the software to a different computer.

      • dragonmouth
        March 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        "Microsoft does restrict the number of times you can transfer the software to a different computer."

        I am surprised that such a policy has not hurt MS in the market place. OTOH, what are the alternatives? Apple, which offers its own lock in? "Geeky" Linux? Personally, I switched to Linux about 6 years ago and never looked back. /grin/

        • Luis
          April 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm

          If you want to switch your license to another computer it's as simple as logging on to your account and disabling Office on that machine and then installing it on another. You can literally switch licenses back and forth.

        • dragonmouth
          April 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

          "You can literally switch licenses back and forth."
          That may be so but with Linux I don't have to worry about any licensing, unless I start writing code for public consumption. I can install the same copy of Linux on literally hundreds of computers at the same time, something I can't do with Windows or O/SX.

  5. Nick Patel
    March 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Yeah Microsoft is getting desperate if they are charging monthly...

    • Tibor Szentmarjay
      March 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      This is just the new SaaS model. Everybody does this.

  6. hazem elsaiegh
    March 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm


  7. Garris Rago
    March 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Limited to US? Not again :(

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Yeah, Garris, it appears as though since .edu is U.S. only, that it has restrictions. I didn't know that at the time of writing the article.

  8. will
    March 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I already bought student mac office 2011 already, so this doesn't do anything to me. I thought "office 365" would be different, apparently not.... In my Windows I have blue edition of ms office that works just fine, maybe I'll try later. about the office web app, it seems awesome, but it won't edit in my skydrive iPad unlike in Windows tablet. it seems like windows is trying what Apple already did for a while, although doesn't have the feature to let you edit iWorks document on the web. I'm starting to like windows again. 27GB with this little effort? Skydrive can beat dropbox if they try harder. Go Windows!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Hey Will, thanks for feedback.

  9. Sayed Iftekhar
    March 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    skydrive is really good actually. While I wont use 365, the 20gigs additional on skydrive will come handy !

  10. Oscar
    March 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Regional limitations?.... sales limitations too.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Oscar, it appears as though since .edu is U.S. only, that it has restrictions. I didn't know that at the time of writing the article.

  11. dragonmouth
    March 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    How generous of MS! (sarcastic voice)

  12. Grr
    March 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Microsoft offers always come with regional limitations, caz it is a US company. They tend to corner out rest of the world. So a complete bias offer.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Grr, thanks for this feedback. I couldn't ascertain how this trial offer worked outside the U.S.. There is no specific restrictions information, at least that I could find, on the Office 365 website.

      • Grr
        March 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Welcome Bakari. Offer terms below:
        Offer Eligibility:

        This Offer is valid only to eligible students who meet the following eligibility criteria:

        1. You are a Qualified Educational User as defined here:; and
        2. You are a legal resident of the 50 U.S. States or D.C., 18+ years of age; and
        3. You possess a valid e-mail address at a qualified U.S. educational institution geographically located in the United States which contains the domain suffix .edu; and
        You are enrolled full- or part-time college or university student at a qualified educational institution (any non-students (alumni, faculty, staff, etc.) of these institutions are ineligible); and
        You have a Microsoft Account and sign-up with that account through the Offer Site to redeem the Offer. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account you may create one during the Offer redemption process.

        So, it is like US & US & US & US & of the world- get lost.

        • Bakari Chavanu
          March 16, 2013 at 3:06 am

          Oh, thanks, Grr, I totally didn't see that.

  13. VS Vishnu
    March 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    no .edu.

  14. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Too bad I dont have a .edu email though I am a student! :/

    • Bakari Chavanu
      March 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Online student?

  15. Jhon H. Caicedo
    March 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

    That's the drug dealer approach, hook them with the free offer and start charging later... Google Apps for Education is a more complete and powerful platform and is free for life.

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