Microsoft Releases Office 365 for Education for FREE

Microsoft Office 365 Logo

Microsoft Office 365 Logo (Photo credit: Microsoft Sweden)

REDMOND, Wash. —  Microsoft just announced it has released Office 365 for Education. The award-winning Office suite, which includes SharePoint and Lync, will now be available to all education levels, including students. What’s the catch? All students, teacher, and faculty will get their hands on Office 365 for Education, allowing them to be more productive than ever thanks to the power of the cloud.

“Office 365 is a hit with big and small companies alike,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division. “I’m delighted to welcome Lowe’s, Burger King, Japan Airlines and others that have chosen Office 365.”

Microsoft Office OneNote 2007

Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The announcement comes just days after several prestigious colleges and universities around the country started adopting Office 365 as their go-to solution. The new solution, dubbed Office 365 for Education, will be available to all education fields in the form of free versions and paid versions. The free flavor of Office includes Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and Office Web Apps. Paid versions will deliver greater storage capacity and specific perks. Office 365 for Education will be replacing Live@edu.

The Microsoft Office Core Applications

The Microsoft Office Core Applications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Getting the world’s best technology in the hands of our students and teachers is critical to improving educational outcomes and making sure students are prepared for college and career,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. “With schools’ ever-tightening budgets, Office 365 for education enables them to deliver new and innovative technology in the cloud that will modernize teaching and learning practices, at no cost.”

Windows 8: Ribbon and USB 3.0

Source: Official Windows 8 Blog

The Windows giant, is slowly but surely , unwrapping the treasures of Windows 8. Microsoft’s new operating system is expected to compete with Mac OS X while keeping the simplicity and familiarity Windows users have come to love. Figure 11 - Share tab

While the Software Giant is obliged to provide new details, it is safe to say that no one expected the torrent of words that has spewed forth. Microsoft is writing Windows 8 info in the thousands of words, receiving tons of comments and responses. Let’s get to the revelations though.

The “Ribbonification” of Windows 8 has commenced: while the idea has been in the works for a a long time, opponents of the Ribbon need now to sing its praises. The screenshot below is the epitome of elegance, ease of use, accessibility, and friendliness.

By placing the most commonly used commands and tools, Microsoft hopes to make Windows 8, an intuitive experience where both the power user and the normal folk will be easily able to find the command they need, in a central and reliable location. Plus, the Ribbon is an already familiar UI that Office users and Windows Live users have grown to love…Windows 8 will follow the success by making Windows Explorer completely Ribbonified.

The other gem of Windows 8 is USB 3.0

Windows 8 has been announced to sport USB 3.0, a standard that theoretically is 10X the speed of USB 2.0. In a practical application, this means that copying Gigs of documents or an HD movie is a seconds-experience. Count merely 45 seconds, and your HD movie is good to go. Windows 8 will also enable pausing and resuming of copy tasks- say you have to copy an important resume, but could care less about a game that is taking hours to download…simply pause the game file transfer, and resume the document transfer.

Still, most people know that when you transfer files, you often run into a dialgo box that annoyingly asks you “Which files do you want to keep?”. In Windows 8, the dialog box is prettier to a degree, but far more important, it is a more powerful layout, giving users a better grasp at handling the files.

Figure 6 - Conflict (more details)

Bottom line: Windows 8 promises to make good on the emerging tech of USB 3.0. By supporting this standard, people can now transfer files at lightning speed. As for the Ribbon, I believe this is a smart move on Microsoft’s behalf. The Ribbon, is a proven and effective UI layout that will benefit thousands of customers worldwide.

USB 3.0 in Windows 8

Gmail Man?: Office 365 Gets it Right

Fact: Google is reading your Email……to generate ads.

As to strange as it may sound, Gmail users either don’t know, or understand the simple fact that Google is generating contextual ads in your Gmail. Simply put in plain English, Google is deliberately searching through your email messages, targeting keywords in your emails( mind you this is in Gmail only), and using those keywords to generate Ads that are not only annoying but extremely creepy.

office 365 vs gmail

Will GMail gets some black spots for reading your email?

Say for instance, your Gmail message contains the words “hotel” , “cheap” , and “Australia”, then it would be easy to figure out what kind of ad for an inexpensive Australian hotel you are going to get.

As nice and benevolent this Google gesture may seem, most people are a little freaked about powerful Google skimping through your personal email and generating rather useless ads that are either freaky or plain mad. Below is a screenshot of Office 365: Office Online so to speak.

Microsoft released the hounds, so to speak, when they showed the Gmail video….needless to say, the video has garnered many views for its hilarious ( and entirely accurate) take on Google’s search of your email.

Office 365, Microsoft’s latest business productivity cloud suite, basically functions as a super pack of Word,PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Exchange( Powerful Email client), Lync, and SharePoint. 365 claims that it does not peruse through your email ( rather important ) to generate ads.

Office 365 : Emai done right?

Learn more about Office 365

Furthermore, 365 has 99% upkeep guarantee to never go down, powerful security features people have always expected from Microsoft cloud clients, and the cheapest price at 6 bucks a month…While GMail lacks the powerful Microsoft SmartScreen feature, and full client collaboration and sharing; in short, 365 beats both GoogleDocs and GMail. However the beauty is in the eye of the beholder…so don’t take my word for it.

Bottom line: Office 365 promises better privacy management and better email experience. Doesn’t matter what company you write your allegiance to, nobody wants your email to be used as ad files. That’s for sure…I guess Gmail users will either have to switch to 365 or get stuck on Google’s ad ecosystem.

Office 365 : Everything You Need to Know

Office 365- an easy name to remember undoubtedly. Office 365- a hard concept to understand…undoubtedly.

This is the approach that most people take with Microsoft latest Office server offering. This article is a quick overview that attempts to explain and uncomplicate matters ( a tad). The chart below gives a nice overview over the different services 365 includes.

The first service Microsoft Office Professional Plus is basically the same, well-known suite of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, as well as Publisher, SharePoint, and the other  normally included Access, Outlook-only difference is these memorable programs connect directly and effortlessly to the Cloud( including the other 365 cloud services.)Office WebApps work with Professional Plus , as well, ensuring that users can view/edit files virtually anywhere.


//Courtesy of Microsoft

The next product, Microsoft Exchange Online, is a set of online email, calendar, and contacts. The special thing about this product is its antivirus, fully secured service including built-in anti-spam and full email/calendar/contact cloud connectivity.

/Courtesy of Microsoft


The next product, Microsoft Lync Online, can be thought of as Windows Live Messenger with phenomenal cloud productivity. It has improved collaboration, viewing , and sharing capabilities while keeping the familiar Messenger layout as seen on the left.

/Courtesy of Microsoft

The final product in the 365 line-up is SharePoint Online, a collaboration tool, designed to share and collaborate files with colleagues and teams.The service also works like a Windows Live SkyDrive, allowing you to save Office docs directly to SharePoint Online. Collaborated documents include security permissions to control editing and built-in SharePoint Workspace allows you to view/edit document without Internet connection.

/Courtesy of Microsoft

If you enjoyed this article, check these others:

Windows 8 Hardware     Apple iCloud: Far from perfect