Students Get Microsoft Office 365 And SkyDrive Free For 90 Days
March 11, 2013

Students Get Microsoft Office 365 And SkyDrive Free For 90 Days

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

College isn´t cheap, but on Monday Microsoft offered some news that could help students just a bit. The Redmond, Washington-based software giant announced that college students could test out its new Office 365 University for three months for free. In addition those students would also receive 20GB of space on the SkyDrive cloud based servers.

This program is being offered to students with qualifying .edu email addresses, and those who share the offer to their respective Facebook accounts will be given an additional three free months of Office 365.

Microsoft introduced its subscription-based model for Office 365 back in January. For an annual fee of $99.99 non-corporate users could get access to all Office apps including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. Microsoft also announced Office 365 University for college and university students, faculty and staff, which is available with a four-year subscription for $79.99 — or about $1.67 a month.

The Office 365 University educational suite includes the same applications and features noted above that can be found in Office 365 Home Premium edition, including the 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes worth of Skype calls per month. It can be run on up to two PCs or Macs.

“Starting today, college students in the U.S. can get three months of Office 365 University and 20 GB of SkyDrive storage for free. Now, you and your classmates can create and edit full Office documents from just about anywhere and access and store them on SkyDrive," said the software giant on its blog.

The actual savings only total about $10 with the Facebook promotion, given the fact that this suite is offered with a four-year subscription, but for many college students every penny counts. Students can also renew the subscription one time, and thus get eight years of Office 365 for just $158.

Microsoft has launched an ad campaign to support this promotion featuring Aubrey Plaza, who stars in the NBC series 'Parks and Recreation.' In the ad, Plaza channels her cynical but witty character April Ludgate-Dwyer by insulting a group of students and suggesting how easy it would be collaborate on projects using Office 365 University with SkyDrive.

Those not in college can still get Office 365. Microsoft is offering would-be users the chance to try the cloud-based suite on up to five PCs or Macs with 20GB of SkyDrive storage, and 60 minutes of Skype calls for a month for free.

The SkyDrive cloud storage offers anywhere access to files, and includes a touchscreen-friendly interface that is compatible with tablets and touchscreen-enabled laptops.

Microsoft has been pushing its subscription-based Office 365 business model over the desktop, especially for those who need to run the program on more than a single device. The software giant had originally restricted Office 2013 to one PC per license with few options to transfer that license to another PC.

After receiving numerous complaints however, Microsoft relented and reportedly eased the restrictions, making it possible to transfer the license once every 90 days.

Microsoft had noted in a blog post last week:

"You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the 'licensed computer.'"

"You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies,” the blog also stated.