- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- Microsoft Office 365 University
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- Installation & SetupEditor: 70%
- Design & InterfaceEditor: 80%
- FeaturesEditor: 70%
- FunctionEditor: 70%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 90%
Microsoft Office 365 University provides access to the versatile Office Suite plus additional features.
Microsoft Office has been the top contender of office related software for the past decade and still things haven’t changed all that much. Sure, there is a plethora of alternatives to Office, but most of them don’t compare well enough to the real thing. Recently, Microsoft decided to change up their business model to accomodate to more consumer’s budget. Instead of only offering the Microsoft Office Suite for for a one time only fixed rate, they have designed a service called Microsoft Office 365, which still gives you all the features of the traditional Office we are used to. In addition, it offers perks like extra Microsoft SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of free Skype credit each month your subscription is valid. The standard Microsoft Office 365 service is priced at $99 per year, but teachers or students enrolled in college have access to the ‘University’ version which allows four years of access for only $80.
A Microsoft Office 365 University subscription comes with all the standard applications you’d expect including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access. It works so that you are able to install the actual Office 2013 (PC) or Office 2011 (Mac) software on up to two computers. With the University edition, you have two licenses to use and it does not matter whether you use them on 2 PCs, 2 Macs, or a PC and a Mac. Once installed these licenses will be valid until your subscription runs out, which in this case is 4 years after you activate it. If you license expires at any time you will lose access to your Office software and the additional features until you renew.
As well as the traditional Office versions installed on your personal computers, you are able to access the ‘Office On Demand’ feature that uses a browser based version of Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. It does this by streaming the programs through the Internet thus requiring no installation. This is perfect for students who may be using a library PC or someone who is temporarily using someone else’s computer that does not already have Office installed. There is a small catch, as this Office On Demand feature does NOT currently work on the Mac OS. This Mac support is rumored to be included when the new version of Office for Mac is released, but this is yet to be confirmed from any credible sources.
Besides access to the Office programs, you will also be able to use a 27GB Microsoft SkyDrive account (upgraded from the free 7 GB account). If you are unfamiliar with SkyDrive, it is basically Microsoft’s version of Dropbox and acts as an online cloud storage solution. Whether your currently a Skype user or not, the Office 365 subscription will give you 60 free Skype world minutes. These minutes make it possible to call any phone number located within the supported 60+ countries via Skype’s VOIP feature free of charge.
By logging into your Microsoft 365 account panel you can view your install information and edit your active licenses. If you haven’t installed the Office applications yet, you can download the installation files for both Mac and PC here. It was a bit of a pain to install Mac 2011 through my subscription as I was not on a fast connection at the time. The installation files were just under 1 GB which took around 40 minutes to complete the download.
From my personal use, I found the Microsoft Office 365 University subscription to be a great deal. For only $20 a year, you get access to all the Office applications you’d expect, in which you can install on 2 computers (both Mac & PC supported) plus the Skype & SkyDrive bonuses. In comparison, if you were to buy a 1 PC lifetime license for Office Home & Student 2013, you would be paying $139.99 for use on only 1 PC. Since you will be saving $60 and receiving all the added benefits of a Office 365 subscription, it seems like a no-brainer to me. Keep in mind, you will need to validate you are indeed a student in order to be eligible to purchase the University package.
I’m not sure how much I’ll use the free Skype minutes or the extra SkyDrive space, but it definitely an added bonus that I can appreciate. The ability to access your Office apps on the go with Cloud On Demand is convenient for those situations where I need to edit a document on the fly, but do not have access to my personal computer. I am a bit bummed the Office On Demand feature is not yet available for Mac, but I’m sure they will add it in the future. In their defense, I’d bet that in most cases I will need to access the Office On Demand feature while on a PC rather than a Mac. Therefore, the lack of Mac support for that feature is not all that much of an issue.
In the end, I do recommend the Microsoft Office 365 University subscription for any prospective buyers. It is an excellent deal for teachers or college students who want to experience all the great benefits of Microsoft Office. It is a much better deal than Office Home and Student 2013 in terms of value on the dollar. In addition, the extra SkyDrive space and free Skype minutes couldn’t hurt!