Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

Summary: Microsoft will be launching Office 365, its successor to BPOS, Live@Edu and Office Live Small Business -- later this year (I'm still hearing early June). On January 11, Microsoft shared new pricing and packaging details about one of the coming Office 365 SKUs: Office 365 for Education.

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Microsoft will be launching Office 365, its successor to BPOS, Live@Edu and Office Live Small Business -- later this year (I'm still hearing early June). On January 11, Microsoft shared new pricing and packaging details about one of the coming Office 365 SKUs: Office 365 for Education.

Office 365 for Education is the follow-on to Live@Edu. (Live@Edu, Microsoft officials said today, currently has 15 million users worldwide.)

Last year, Microsoft execs hinted that the education SKU for Office 365 would remain free for students, but cost some unspecified amount for academics and administrators. According to a newly released fact sheet, here's the deal.

Office 365 for Education will include Exchange Online, as Live@Edu does now, but also will add SharePoint Online, Lync Online, Office Web Apps, support for My Sites (and other new team sites) and site search capabilities. (Microsoft officials said in 2009 they planned to add SharePoint Online support to Live@Edu, but it is only materializing as of Office 365 for Education.) The SharePoint Online and Lync Online functionality will be free for students, and $10 per month per user for educators and staff.

Microsoft also is offering a package, consisting of all of the above mentioned hosted services, plus a copy of Office Professional Plus (its highest end Office SKU) to run on users' PCs. For this version of Office 365 for Education that includes Professional Plus, Microsoft plans to charge $2 per month per student and $14 per user per month for educators and staff.

Microsoft officials said late last year that the company is planning to implement a Live@Edu service update, starting in January 2011, which will include user-deployment improvements, enhancements to the Exchange Control Panel, updates to Outlook Web App (OWA), new capabilities for compliance, policy, SPAM and anti-virus management.

Google Apps for Education, the primary competitor to Live@Edu and the coming Office 365 for Education offering, is free (for both students and educators/administrators, with Google's Postini e-mail archiving and security available for an add-on fee per user per month (except for K-12 school users, which can get Postini for free).  Google's offering does not include any PC software option/components.

In other BPOS/Office 365 news, Microsoft is planning to roll out its regular quarterly update for BPOS Standard starting this month. The update will include Blackberry Console enhancements, updates to the Live Meeting client add-in,  and some PowerShell tweaks. In the U.S., Microsoft has a planned maintenance period scheduled over the weekend of January 15-16 and is telling BPOS customers they may experience temporary service outages for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online as a result of updates and patch application.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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15 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

    Oh My God, can't wait to try this out. :D
    jarrichvdv
  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

    365 headaches, patches, dollars, hours wasted on fixing stuff. Yep sounds like a real bargain.
    james347
    • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

      @james347 Looks like somebody is jealous. :-)
      statuskwo5
    • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

      @james347 - you've obviously not used BPOS/365 then because it's been nothing but plain-sailing for us - especially compared to having to run all the infrastructure in-house.

      BPOS is an absolute slam dunk no brainer and has freed us up to concentrate on our business and our clients.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

    With Google Apps being free, MS is crazy to think they can charge $10 or $14 per month to staff. Personally, I dislike Google Apps and prefer MS's better functionality, but most school districts are broke and will be heading to the free Google offering in droves.
    bgetreu
    • Not so fast

      @bgetreu Google Apps may be "free", but an older gentleman once taught me the value of TANSTAAFL. In other words, people pay for Google Apps by giving up their privacy and to some that is more important than giving up money.
      statuskwo5
      • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

        @statuskwo5 Nonsense! Privacy concerns about Google continue to be the "bogeyman". Do some actual reading about how data is stored and handled by Google and you'll see how far off you are. Google was FISMA certified long before MS, and many governmental and educational organizations have done the research and are convinced about the security and privacy of data on Google's servers. At the very least, how can you claim Google's cloud solution would be any less private than MS's?
        rjlaws
      • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

        @statuskwo5 & @rjlaws

        Absolutely, privacy is the key. Google may store the data very safely to make sure that only they can use it, but they can abuse it. The big risk is internal misuse or leaking and we have already seen some instances of that.

        Just wait until someone decides to sell data on a billion people from Google's databases.
        jorjitop
      • Exactly.

        @ statuskwo5

        With Microsoft, the end users are the customers. With Google, advertisers are the customers, and the end users are more of a resource -- like sheep to a sheep farmer. I prefer being a customer to being a resource.

        In the long run, economic incentives are the key. Since Microsoft's business model is based on selling licences, they've got an economic incentive to maintain and develop Office 365, provided that end users are buying it. Since Google give away Google Apps, they've only got an incentive to maintain and develop it if they're able to convert end user information into advertising revenue.

        Either Google are (ab)using user data to sell advertising, in which case they've got an incentive to continue to develop Google Apps, or they aren't using user data to sell advertising, in which case Google Apps is a loss-making enterprise, and they've no long-run economic incentive to continue developing it. As you rightly pointed out, there's no free lunch here.
        WilErz
    • Linux is free too

      @bgetreu <br><br>Doesn't stop people from paying for Windows or Mac.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • BPOS, Office 365?

    I am wondering how Microsoft intends to manage the branding aspect. Currently both BPOS and Office 365 are brand names in use, though they relate to the same basic product. Once MS brings Office 365 out of beta, will it bury the BPOS brand?
    pankajunk
    • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

      @pankajunk - All branding will be moving to Office 365 as customers are migrated off BPOS.

      The BPOS brand will eventually die.
      bitcrazed
  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

    School districts are hurting now that federal funds supporting technology have vanished. As I am now shopping for reasonably priced solutions for my district, I find the costs proposed by this MS option to be outrageous and unrealistic. You just convinced me that Google Apps is my answer.
    sdupre@...
  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

    cloud = danger
    cbgb1984
  • RE: Microsoft details packaging, pricing for Office 365 for Education

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