Microsoft Entices Students with Free Trial of Office 365

The special offer also comes with 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes worth of Skype calls.

As part of its push to interest users in Office 365, the cloud-based version of its office productivity suite, Microsoft is rolling out a new offer for college and university students. They can get special pricing on the service, plus up to six months of Office 365 access for free.

CNET's Lance Whitney reported, "As of today, students with a qualifying .edu e-mail address can register to receive three months free of Office 365 University and an extra 20GB of space for their SkyDrive online storage. Share the offer on Facebook, and you'll get an additional three months of Office 365 for free. Geared for college students and teachers, a license for Office 365 University costs $79.99 for four years and is good for up to two PCs or Macs. The educational suite includes the same applications and features found in Office 365 Home Premium, including the 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes worth of Skype calls per month."

VentureBeat's Sean Ludwig pointed out, "Students can re-up the offer one time, so they could theoretically get eight years of Office 365 for just $160."

PCMag's Chloe Albanesius explained, "Students will also need a Microsoft account to install and manage Office software, which they can create during the sign-up process. The service allows students to install Office 365 on up to two PCs or Macs for use by a single person. That PC must be running Windows 7 or higher, while the Mac requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. The service is also accessible on Windows Phone devices running OS 7.5 and higher."

SlashGear's Craig Lloyd noted, "Microsoft released a comical advertisement to promote the offer, which features Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza who plays deadpan character April Ludgate-Dwyer in the show. In the commercial, Plaza informs students about how easy it is to get your collaboration projects done using Office 365 University and SkyDrive in separate locations, officially negating the point of meeting up in the library."

Tags: cloud computing, Microsoft, SkyDrive, Skype, Office 365

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