In a move that is bound to make students, teachers and schools all around the world jump with joy, and in the process earn Microsoft some goodwill, the tech giant has announced on Monday that its ultra-popular Microsoft Office applications will be available for free to students aged 13 years or older. The new self-serve sign-up is available for US students and will soon be extended to students worldwide.
In this scheme, Microsoft offers the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher, installation on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPad, one terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage, and access to Office online.
While Microsoft announced the Student Advantage program about a year ago, a benefit that allows students to get Office 365 from their school for free, the company admits in its blog that there was a drawback. It writes, “The onus has been on the school to initiate the service, create an account and order the Office 365 license on behalf of the student.”
Converting it into a self-serve process, the company asks eligible students to follow these steps: go to Office 365 for Students and register using a valid E-mail address provided by the school.
Though, there is a small catch. Microsoft states in its blog, “In order to be eligible for this benefit, the student must attend a school that has purchased Office organisation-wide for all faculty/ staff via the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.” The catch is that Volume Licensing is not free.
Additionally, Microsoft also announced that any school/organisation that has already purchased or wants to purchase Office for all of their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost. This scheme will be available to teachers in the US starting October and is expected to be available to teachers worldwide at a later date.