Student discounts for software are nothing new, but this takes it to a whole new level. Microsoft's new Student Advantage scheme means that educational institutions which license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional for staff can offer free Office 365 ProPlus subscriptions to all students.
The scheme operates worldwide and commences 1 December 2013. Microsoft currently offers individual students a four-year Office 365 subscription for $99, which covers two computers. That's cheap compared to the $119 price for an individual one-year Office 365 subscription, though direct comparison is a little tricky; the Student bundle includes more apps but the consumer bundle covers five machines. In any event, free trumps cheap when you're on a student budget.
That scheme is likely to cost Microsoft a fair chunk of money in lost licensing revenue. That said, if it can lock students into using Office, that habit is likely to continue in the workplace. Microsoft's own research suggests 98 per cent of students utilise Office as a productivity tool, but clearly it doesn't want rivals such as Google Docs gaining more of a foothold.
Announcing Student Advantage [Office News]