College and university students can access Microsoft's cloud apps for bargain basement price.
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Microsoft has unveiled pricing and special offers for a cloud-based a version of its Office productivity suite aimed at college and university students.
Higher education students can subscribe to Office 365 University, which rolls out in the first quarter, for a four-year subscription priced at $79.99. That, as Microsoft conveniently points out, works out to $1.67 per month.
Students who enter graduate programs, or just take longer than planned to complete a four-year degree, can renew for an additional four years at the same price.
Documents created or saved in Office 365 University are automatically saved to Microsoft's SkyDrive storage service. The price includes 27 GB of storage. It also allows users to install Office University 365 on up to two devices. It can be streamed to other devices when users are away from their own PC.
Office 365 University includes access to online versions of Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Students who purchase Office University 2010 for Windows, or Office University 2011 for Mac, both of which are priced at $100, get access to Office University 365 for free. The pricing structure mirrors that of the consumer version of Office, which also offers free cloud apps when purchased.
Office 365 University is available to higher-education students, faculty, and staff. After purchasing, buyers must verify their academic credentials online. Those purchasing the software from a Microsoft store can verify before buying.
Microsoft is battling Google for the education market. Google Apps for Education offers free access to online world processing, calendaring, presentation, and other applications. To boost its case, Microsoft said it recently completed work to ensure that Office 365 complies with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, which must be adhered to by medical schools.
"A robust, reliable and secure email system is vital to the daily operations of the university and health system," said Duke University CIO Tracy Futhey, in a statement. "Moving to the Microsoft cloud environment will enable us to achieve greater efficiency and ensure that our users will have the level of protection necessary to keep Duke’s data private, including guaranteeing that our data servers would stay in the U.S."
Recent educational wins for Office 365 also include Emory, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of Washington. High-profile Google customers in the education market include Notre Dame, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Brown.
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