Microsoft, last Tuesday introduced a new offering, Student Advantage. It’s a huge win for students across the globe.
“Beginning Dec. 1, 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. Today, more than 35,000 institutions are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students. Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications — locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.”
IDC released a study in partnership with Microsoft highlights Office as being ranked 3 out of 20 in demand skills for high growth careers. This move by Microsoft benefits students, but also puts increased pressure from businesses facing higher server maintenance and licensing costs to have the latest versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Lync on premise. I believe Microsoft is offering this benefit to students in hopes that when they graduate, they will be accustomed to using the productivity features in Office 365 and expect the same or more in businesses, not less. For more information on Office 365 for Education or Office 365 in general drop us a comment below.
Office 365 has been out for over a year and Microsoft’s trend so far with Office 365 has been to continually lower the plan’s prices. With the upcoming Office 365 release on the horizon, Microsoft has given us a preview into the new version of Office 365. There’s a new plan called Office 365 Small Business Premium. This plan is different from the current Office 365 Small Business P1 plan in that it bundles the Office subscription with it versus a separate add on. The current price for the Office 365 P1 plan is $6 a month per user. To add an Office subscription, it’s an additional $12 a month per user. For the new Office 365 Small Business Premium plan it’s $149.99 per user per year, a 30% reduction in price. Here’s a breakdown of the plan:
Office Apps: Word Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher, InfoPath (PC or Mac)
Exchange Online: 25GB mailbox
Online: 10GB storage with 500MB per user
Lync Online: HD Video Conferencing
Public Website: Includes custom domain and tools to assist in building the website
Pricing: $149.99 per user per year
Licensing: Per user (Ability to install Office 2013 on up to 5 devices)
You can try out the new Office 365 Small Business Premium preview today at http://office.com/preview. Microsoft has announced a service update to Office 365 starting in November with new Office 2013 features. This may be when the new Office 365 plans become available, but we won’t know for certain for another month. As always feel free to comment or ask questions below.