College students are constantly broke. I was there once. The worst part was living off of ramen noodles while waiting for my meal plans to renew. Companies are finally starting to understand this and have started offering discounted, or even free, services to students.
Microsoft is the latest company to adopt this student-friendly approach by making its Office 365 service dirt cheap. Office 365 is Microsoft's new cloud-platform where users can edit Word, Excel and other Office software via Web browsers. The service normally costs $3 per month for students, but Microsoft is offering it at $1.67 per month ($80 over four years) to college students.
Beyond the cheap price, the service has some specific perks for students. Subscribers will get access to all the applications in the Office software suite including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. A subscription lasts four years, but students can sign up for four more if their college journey takes that long.
The other perks include automatic saving to SkyDrive for all documents and an extra 20GB storage on said SkyDrive. Students will now be able to save up to 27GB worth of content across all of their projects. Skype is even getting in on the fun by offering 60 Skype world minutes a month to subscribers.
So, who's eligible to take part in this deal? Unlike most student offers, full and part-time students can take advantage of the special pricing as long as they attend an "accredited institution." Even better, faculty and staff at said institutions can also sign up for the service. It's not known if faculty and staff are also held to the four year limit.
UPDATE: Microsoft just got back with us. A spokesperson said that all "eligible students, faculty or staff members can renew their 4-year subscription to Office 365 University once." Guess that means professors can only get 8 years just like their students. Tenure doesn't mean as much as it used to.