No, that’s not a misprint! Microsoft announced in late June their Office 365 suite of cloud services – Hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Lync – is being made available to qualified educational institutions for free! In addition to these cloud services, the entire Office 2010 Professional suite of desktop applications is being made available at a ridiculously low monthly subscription price. It’s such a low price in fact, one could argue it is the next best thing to being free!

For all the details of the Office 365 for Education offering, visit

If your educational institution already uses Microsoft’s Live@edu service, you should know that beginning this summer you will be automatically upgraded to the new Office 365 for Education. This upgrade will give students, faculty, and staff free access to the same versions of key Office 365 tools available to enterprises, extending your investment in Live@edu. Once again, this upgrade will be free.

For more information on the Live@edu-to-Office 365 upgrade, including Frequently Asked Questions, see the overview here:

In his blog entry of June 27, Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s Vice President of Education for Worldwide Public Sector, stated “Students must be more than consumers. They need to be creators. They need to know how to communicate and collaborate with others. Office 365 is the best productivity experience that’s used all over the world and that companies are demanding expertise in. And there is no compromise for going to the cloud with Microsoft. The experience and features that you expect on the desktop and offline are also there in the cloud. Schools can connect all devices to the cloud, and every student and teacher regardless of location, to realize the potential of online learning.”

At Simplex-IT, we are always happy to answer questions and be of assistance in any way possible. If you’d like to know more about what Office 365 can do for you and your organization, don’t hesitate to call us.