Microsoft goes after students: Office 365, SkyDrive, Skype free offers

office365UappsMicrosoft is going after its next generation of Office users in a big way, today introducing a new campaign aimed at getting US university students hooked on Office 365, SkyDrive, and Skype.  To promote the offers, Microsoft also today released a pair of ads featuring  Aubrey Plaza from the TV comedy “Parks and Recreation” to promote the use of Office and SkyDrive together.  The campaign brings Office 365, SkyDrive, and Skype together with free offers, brought together on a new web page,  Some of the details include:

  • 3 month Free trial of Office 365 University
  • another 3 months free just for sharing the offer on Facebook
  • 20 GB additional SkyDrive storage
  • 60 minutes of free Skype calls per month

Office 365 for University looks to be a good deal even without the free offers, providing a 4 year subscription (for eligible higher education students, faculty, and staff) for $79.99.  That’s a significant savings over Office 365 Home Premium, which is priced an $99.99, but is available for up to 5 PCs or Macs, while Office 365 for University limits students to 2 PCs or Macs (plus Office Mobile on Windows Phone 7.5 or higher).  The Office 365 University Suite includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, including ongoing version updates, and even allows students to purchase a second subscription that can be activated 3 years after the first one, for a total of 7 years of coverage at less than $20/year.  Not bad!


The new ads feature some annoying university students in a library, with Aubrey Plaza convincing them to work from “not here”, sending the arts-and-craft girl back to her “unicorn stable”.


If you’re a US University student, this looks to be a great deal, as Microsoft is pushing hard to make sure the next generation of office workers are Office users.