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Microsoft Launches Student Advantage with Free Office Suite

By - Source: Microsoft | B 10 comments

Students will get free access provided university or school is already paying.

Microsoft today announced the official launch of its latest program to give students access to Office. Redmond revealed that student attending a school that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty will now be able to access Office 365 for free. Dubbed Student Advantage, Microsoft first announced this program way back in October. Now, Student Advantage is live. As of December 1, a total of 35,000 educational institutes worldwide are running Student Advantage programs.

Microsoft writes that 97 percent of students using productivity software are Microsoft Office users. What's more, proficiency with Microsoft Office is ranked number three on the list of skills employers look for in candidates for high-growth, high-wage occupations. Proficiency with PowerPoint and World come in at number 11 and number 13 respectively.

"Microsoft Office skills were sought after five times more than any other productivity tools. Even Google's own job postings require competency with Microsoft Office tools," Microsoft wrote in an official blog post. "Because Office is such a highly valued skillset with employers, students who use Office 365 will have the most up-to-date versions of the productivity tools they need to excel in the classroom and the workforce."

If you're not able to get access through your school and the Student Advantage program, you can still sign up for Office 365 University, which is a 4-year subscription for $79.99 or $1.67 per month.

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  • 0 Hide
    nhat11 , December 3, 2013 8:57 AM
    I don't think MS needs to advertise Office is a well known suite.... lol
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , December 3, 2013 9:10 AM
    This sounds more like an attempt to encourage learning institutions to choose Microsoft over other alternatives which include free productivity suites. Likely in response to this:
  • 3 Hide
    jacklongley , December 3, 2013 9:49 AM
    "Proficiency with PowerPoint and World". Jane, be a dear and don't rely on spell check alone in the future.
  • 0 Hide
    realAMDfreak , December 3, 2013 2:01 PM
    I prefer LibreOffice or Kingsoft Office which are free. MS Office is making money out of dumb users due to their closed source format.
  • 1 Hide
    realAMDfreak , December 3, 2013 2:03 PM
    Atlantis Word Processor is also great.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , December 3, 2013 2:19 PM
    Two words: open office.
  • 0 Hide
    mikeangs2004 , December 3, 2013 9:04 PM
    They also offer free latest version Windows through DreamSpark at some schools, but I have media center with $40 Windows
  • 0 Hide
    rokit , December 4, 2013 3:50 AM
    "What's more, proficiency with Microsoft Office is ranked number three on the list of skills employers look for in candidates for high-growth, high-wage occupations."
    Really? How will it help me in 3D work? LibreOffice is more then enough for most of the people. The only thing that holds MS office are other users. Closed MS formats work really good only for MS users. Open formats don't work good for MS users because of the shitty code MSO has for both import and export(this one is bigger hell though) and we get open formats MS style.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , December 4, 2013 10:48 AM
    The only thing open solutions tend to have trouble with is Excel and getting the formatting exactly right on more complex spreadsheets.

    I haven't had any problem with Google Docs or Libre Office with Docx or PPT files in a very long time and I do lots of proposals and projects that require quite a bit of intricate formatting.

    Most businesses are just used to MS Office and are unaware of the alternatives. Part of this is because a lot of IT professions are only certified in Windows based products and therefore guide their companies in that direction. You see that a lot here on Toms, people blindly defending Microsoft against newer alternatives. IT people want to stick with what they know and were educated in and often resist change.
  • 0 Hide
    vpoko , December 4, 2013 7:39 PM
    It's been maybe 4 years since I last tried LibreOffice, but at the time, the calculation speed in Calc was *much* slower than Excel's once workbooks got to an even moderate size and formula complexity. Working in financial systems, I can say that LibreOffice would have been completely, 100% unworkable at our company (with people wasting tremendous time waiting for workbooks to calculate). The situation may well have changed since I last checked, but unfortunately (very unfortunately considering how expensive Office is) at the time LibreOffice wasn't even an alternative for finance-focused work.