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Free Office 365 for students and teachers

Barry Collins
25 Feb 2015
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Microsoft extends Office giveaway around the world

Microsoft has extended a scheme that allows students and teachers to get free subscriptions to Office 365. Previously only available in the US, the plan sees students and teachers given a free licence to install apps including Word, Excel and PowerPoint on up to five PCs/Macs and five mobile devices.

There is, of course, a catch. The scheme isn't open to all students and teachers: their school must already licence Microsoft Office on an education plan. Students can check if they're eligible for a free Office 365 subscription by entering their school-supplied email address here and teachers can check their eligibilty here.

Students and teachers who are eligible will receive:

  • Up to five installations of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher on PCs and Macs
  • Up to five installations of the Office mobile apps on smartphones and tablets
  • Access to the browser-based Office web apps
  • 1TB of OneDrive storage

Microsoft has attracted criticism in the past for similar schemes that gave teachers and students free or heavily discounted access to Office software. Critics argue that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position to hook the next generation of users on Microsoft software, potentially damaging rivals such as LibreOffice or even Google Docs.

Microsoft recently unveiled touch-friendly versions of the Office apps for users running the Windows 10 Technical Preview, having already launched versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPad last year and Office for Android earlier this month. A new version of the PC Office suite is also in the works, although it's not expected to be launched until late this year or early 2015.   

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