Announced on Friday, Microsoft’s new Office 365 University will hit the web and shelves in Q1 of 2013. This “higher education” MS product will be available only to full or part-time students, faculty and staff of accredited universities. Students and staff will actually receive significant savings and feature ad ones. Look.
In a move to position their Office 365 product firmly in hands of academia, Microsoft replaces their Office 2010 University and Mac 2011 University products (essentially thru upgrade) with a new suite aimed at better monthly pricing for subscriptions of just over a buck and a half. Here’s what students and faculty will get with their upgrade or new subscription:
- Elements -- Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
- Best pricing - $1.67 per month or about $79.99 for four year subscription
- Digital notes with OneNote
- SkyDrive savings and 27 GB storage versus 20
- 60 minutes on Skype per month
- Two computer install access
- and Office on Demand
My take here is pretty simple. It’s clear that no matter how you slice it Microsoft will be offering a savings here. The current versions of Office University 2010 and the Mac variant (priced separately BTW) are $99.99 for either. Those suites do not include the added MS features like the Skype minutes nor the SkyDrive space. So, not being a math major even, the benefits are pretty clear.
As a side note on Office 365, Microsoft also announced on Friday the adoption of the core product Office 365 by a number universities including: Duke University, Emory University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Iowa and the University of Washington. If I ever plugged any software, I guess Microsoft has done the work to deserve some free accolades.
Office 365 is one of the most rigorously tested products on the planet. The software suite carries ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor, EU Model Clauses, the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and (FISMA) approval. The company has gone so far as to create a special “Trust Center” just for users to ensure and satisfy their data safety and integrity concerns.
As for the actual performance of the upgrade product? We obviously do not yet have our hands on, but reviews from testers are all positive (from MS). Finally, if your college career takes a bit longer than you expected (maybe you’re after a Phd?), then you can renew once taking your use to eight years total.
Image credit: Office 365 logo -- courtesy Microsoft