A recent blog post from the Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Team's Jevon Fark revealed something that's likely to put a smile on the faces of college students everywhere. After Christmas vacation comes and goes, students will be able to pick up copies of Office 365 University, a subscription-based version of Office 365 that packs in plenty of options, and does so inexpensively.
Interested students will not only be able to pick up Office 365 University online, but also from the Microsoft Store retail outlets in 52 different markets. The service will be available to full- and part-time students alike as well as faculty and staff at accredited institutions, who will be able to purchase a full four-year subscription for just $80. That figures out to be around $1.67 a month, and provides access to a wide array of Microsoft services. Those who need more time will be able to purchase a second four-year subscription at the same price.
But it's not just access to the Office 2013 standards like Word, PowerPoint and Excel that come into play here, as users will get access to several other programs like OneNote and Publisher. Better yet, subscribers also get access to Microsoft SkyDrive, their cloud storage service, as well as 27 gigabytes of storage. Just to top the offer off, users will even get 60 Skype (News - Alert) world minutes a month. Those buying Office University 2010 or Office University for Mac 2011 will get their subscription to Office 365 University at no charge, assuming they're eligible to get it in the first place.
It's a smart plan for Microsoft; after all, students typically need a service like that for around four to five years, and offering the extra subscription provides that note of value that convinces students to keep Office 365 University even after they graduate. That's the kind of move that helps to encourage brand loyalty, making Office 365 University users remain customers long after their university days are through. Just how well-received Microsoft's move will ultimately be remains to be seen, but it's a fair bet that this will end well for all concerned.
Edited by Jamie Epstein