Starting on December 1st, Universities that license Office Education for their faculty and staff can offer students Office 365 ProPlus for free thanks to a new program called Student Advantage. For students at these institutions, that means free access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher, and Lync. While many cheaper alternatives to Office have sprung up, many students still rely on Redmond’s good ol’ productivity tools.
Office 365 University typically costs $80 for a 4-year subscription for students, which is already a heavy discount over the usual $99 per year subscription to Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft has been moving from selling Office as a one-time deal to a subscription service through Office 365.
Microsoft’s stated goal is to better prepare students for a workforce in which Office plays a very central role. In a study by Microsoft and the IDC, they found that proficiency in Microsoft Office was the third most sought after skill in high-paying jobs.
Microsoft claims that 110 million staff, faculty, and students are already using Office 365 Education, spanning 119 countries and 36 languages. If enough Universities take advantage — excuse the pun — of Student Advantage, that number could greatly increase without costing the Universities or students anything extra. Over 35,000 institutions are already automatically eligible for Student Advantage.
If you’re lucky enough to be enrolled in one of the eligible Universities, you should check out our Office 2013 guide to to be able to fully utilize the productivity suite. And if you aren’t eligible for Microsoft Office, you can always check out a free Office alternative. We’ve compared LibreOffice and OpenOffice if you’re interested.
Source: Office Blog