Microsoft Office Is Almost Free For Students And Teachers Worldwide
Microsoft is making its Office available apparently free of charge to the millions of students worldwide. The company is touting the announcement as completely free of charge, but students would indirectly still be paying for it in the form tuition fees. Microsoft Office will be available for free for students enrolled in the schools which have bought organization-wide license.
Before this announcement which was made on February 23, schools had to grant individual licenses to the each student or teacher, but now students and teachers can sign up online to access software. The only condition for students is that “the student must attend a school that has purchased Office organization-wide for all faculty/staff via the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.”
The Redmond-based company launched a similar scheme back in September 2014. The students, who were at least 13 years old and had school-provided email address, were eligible for the service. Also the school had to be the one which had the license to use Office.
Now the move has been expanded to all other regions of the world. According to the statement released by Microsoft, millions of students around the world are eligible for this service. There are “5.5 million eligible students in Australia, the nearly 5 million eligible students in Germany, 7 million more in Brazil, 1.3 million at Anadolu University in Turkey, every student in Hong Kong and millions more.”
Students who are eligible to the program will get access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher installed on up to five PCs or Macs and up to five mobile devices like iPad, Android and Windows tablets. They will also be getting 1TB of storage on OneDrive.
Microsoft initially launched this program in US but the students in New York City public schools were given genuinely free access to Office. That means it didn’t put any condition on the school to purchase the license for Office 365. In fact, it offered a free license to the New York Public School system.
However, Microsoft is not doing the same to students outside US. Desite touting to offer “free” access to Office, it still wants schools to purchase the license. So students will eventually be paying for the service in the form of tuition fees.
Many students and businesses are using free web-based services like Google Docs to create documents and to collaborate with peers. If Microsoft genuinely provides its Office for free, it could become lifetime habit of these students to use Microsoft’s service.