Microsoft Goes Worldwide with Free Office 365 for Schools Offering

Microsoft is going head-to-head with other cloud services.

Students across the world can now use Microsoft Office 365 for free.

At a Feb. 11 event, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that the New York City Department of Education is providing a free version of Office for the school system's 1.1 million students.

Two weeks later, Microsoft announced that a free cloud-based Office 365 would be available for millions of more students around the world. As EdTech has previously reported, Office 365 has been available for free to students in the United States since 2012, but now Microsoft is widening the opportunity to "any eligible student or teacher where Office 365 is available," according to a blog posted Monday by the Office 365 team.

"Today we are announcing that we’ve made it easy for all eligible students globally to sign up themselves to get Office 365 and install free Office," according to Microsoft’s blog.

To check for availability, students can visit office.com/getoffice365, and teachers can visit office.com/teachers.

The cloud-based Office package includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher, as well as access to 1 terabyte of storage per student.

Microsoft’s and Google’s cloud-based education solutions have been at loggerheads for several years. The dispute further extends to cloud service providers such as Amazon, Dropbox and Apple, which offer storage solutions in the cloud.

These companies regularly upgrade their cloud services with competitive offerings to persuade customers to buy into their ecosystems for the long run, according to Forbes.

RomoloTavani/Thinkstock
Feb 26 2015

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