Microsoft has announced that it will give free Office 365 software suite to students around the world. The offer is dubbed as Office 365. Office 365 education is a plan with which students can have free access to install newest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One note, Publisher and they can have access to 5 Mac PCs and Microsoft office applications on their smart devices which includes Android, iPad or Windows tablet. It also includes 1 TB of One Drive storage which will be managed by the school and the students can easily coordinate using Office online, Yammer and Share point sites.
At the start of February 2015, Microsoft announced that only the students of New York can avail the free subscription of 365 but now, surprisingly, Microsoft has made it available for all the students around the world. However there are specific countries and areas who can avail this service.
There are some terms and conditions to avail this service, school will have to qualify for this benefit by buying the subscription. Once bought, it will be available for teachers and students. Students will then be able to enroll directly with Microsoft. Active or part time students are eligible after meeting the following requirements:-
- Needs to have a school specific email address provided by the school to receive external emails.
- Legal age to sign up for it which is 13 years old.
- Should have an internet access.
Students can avail this offer until they are graduated or they are no longer enrolled with the school. Student’s eligibility can be re-verified at any time. When this plan is expired Office applications will work in a reduced functionality i.e. documents can be viewed but it cannot be edited or created also Office online and One Drive will not work.
One Drive account will be managed by school’s IT administrator to make sure that it is being used specifically for home works and school works. Permissions and access will be controlled by schools’ IT administrators. This plan cannot be shared with anyone outside school.
A school can avail two pricing options which are:-
- Office 365 Education E1:-
It is a free version with limited features, it includes unlimited amount of users. It does not include full installed office applications.
- Office 365 education E3:-
For this package Schools will have to pay $2.50 per month per student and $4.50 per faculty member per month. All the users will have complete access to all the features offered.
If a school cannot qualify for this plan then Microsoft has asked students to avail other options they are offering which includes Office 365 home, Office 365 University, Office Online etc.