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Students, get Office 365 free for six months

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 8:28AM Tuesday March 12, 2013
under Freebies

Awhile back I explained why the new Microsoft Office 365 Home edition might be a good deal.

Well, there's no better deal than free. And if you're a student, there's a little free in your future.

Typically, Microsoft offers a one-month free trial for Office 365, but starting now, students can try Office 365 free for three months. And if you're willing to share the offer with your friends on Facebook, Microsoft will double the trial to six months.

Just type in your valid e-mail address (one that ends in .edu), then click Redeem Offer. That'll set you up with Office 365 University, which affords access to the 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. And you can install it on up to two PCs or Macs--nice if you use multiple machines.

The promo also includes an extra 20GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (on top of the 7GB all users can get for free).

That's a pretty sweet deal, in my humble opinion. Of course, students already have it sweet when it comes to Office 365, as those who qualify can get a four-year subscription (again for up to two PCs) for just $79.95. That's less than $20 per year, a deal so good it makes me want to go back to school.

It's important to note that Office 365 requires Windows 7 or later, so you're out of luck if you're running an older machine with Windows XP or Vista.

I'm not sure how long Microsoft plans to offer this three/six-month trial. Obviously the timing would be better if this was July or August, when everyone's shopping for new PCs and getting ready for a new school year. But I'd say for any student looking to test-drive Microsoft's new suite, this is too good to pass up.

Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and, and also writes for PC World and Wired.