Microsoft has launched a new promotional campaign to get students using its Office 365 University and SkyDrive products. Under the new offering announced today, students with a qualifying .edu e-mail address can register to access the productivity suite at no cost for three months -- or double that if they share the offer on Facebook. The suite includes the same applications and features found in Office 365 Home Premium, including the 20GB of extra SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes worth of Skype calls per month.
After the free period is over if you want to continue using the suite you’ll have to pay up the regular Office 365 University subscription fee, of course. But that isn’t a bad deal either. A license for the educational package costs $79.99 for four years and is good for up to two PCs or Macs. Moreover, students can renew the offer one time, so in total they could theoretically get eight years of Office 365 for just $160.
To get the word out Microsoft released a couple of ads featuring Parks & Recreation star Aubrey Plaza. In the ads, Plaza not-so-subtly tells a group of college students how they can get their projects done using Office 365 and SkyDrive in separate locations instead of having to set up physical meetings.
If you’re not a student you can still try out Office 365 Home Premium free for one month as well.
Microsoft has been touting the subscription-based Office 365 over its desktop counterpart. According to the company, the web-based suite will be updated more frequently with the latest features and allows small businesses and households with up to five computers or mobile devices to access everything for one price.