University offers free Microsoft 365

Contributed Photo: MCT Campus
Microsoft offered free software

By Britnee Ganster
Managing Editor/Spectator

Recently, students received an email from the university’s technology and communications department informing them that Microsoft Office 2013 would be available to them for free for as long as they are enrolled in school.

“Microsoft offered this to students for free so we just facilitated the process,” Director of Desktop Systems & Learning Technology DJ Bradley said.

Because Microsoft offered the service to the university for free, the software caused no increases to students’ technology fee on their e-bills.

Students can access the software through a link on the top left corner of their student emails. Upon clicking on the “Office 365” tab, they will be taken to a site where they can download and install the Office Suite. Windows users will have access to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and Access. Mac users can download Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.

Regardless of their majors, all students can benefit from the applications included in the offer. Though university computers are all equipped with Microsoft Office, students who wished to obtain it for their personal laptops in the past could pay up to $150 at BestBuy for the full suite.

This opportunity has caused an increase of traffic at both the technology Help Desk and the StudentNet Help Desk in Ross Hall.

Tyler Cornelius a student worker at the StudentNet Help Desk expressed that most students have been seeking their help because they don’t feel confident downloading the program themselves.

“My advice would be to check the website for the instructions and if that fails, call in to Studentnet and we can assist the installation process over the phone,” Cornelius said.  “Saves them a trip all the way to Ross Hall.”

Cornelius expressed the benefits of getting Microsoft Office for free when on a tight budget.

“Most students can’t afford to just buy Microsoft Office out of pocke,” Cornelius said. “This way saves a lot of students money and is very convenient.”

According to Kirsten Lewin a student worker at the technology Help Desk, one of the main problems students have run into when downloading the program is that their passwords need reset for it to install.

“Get you email password changed before attempting,” Lewin said. “You can submit a ticket online and the Tech Center on the launch pad on you my.Edinboro page.”

While programs like OpenOffice and GoogleDocs have been cheap alternatives for purchasing Microsoft Office, the file types are not always compatible with other computers. Providing everyone with Microsoft Office should alleviate some of the difficulty with file types found on campus.

According to the email sent out on Monday, September 15, students can download the software on up to five devices, but they will be unable to access the applications shortly after they graduate or leave the university.

Previously if students needed Microsoft Office they had to purchase it separately, however the university bookstore offered the program at a reduced price for students.

The Technology Help Desk encourages any students who need assistance with downloading and taking advantage of Microsoft Office to visit them during their normal business hours, Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Ross Hall, near the entrance to the Skybridge.

Britnee Ganster is managing editor for The Spectator. She can be reached by