Microsoft readies Office 365 University bundle for Q1 2013

Microsoft readies Office 365 University bundle for Q1 2013

Summary: There's another new Office 365 release in the works for higher education students, which is due out in the first quarter of 2013.


Just when you thought you had seen a full list of all the new Office 365 releases that Microsoft will be rolling out over the next few months, another new SKU emerges.


The Office 365 University offering, due in the first quarter of 2013, will be sold online, at retail locations and at Microsoft Stores in 52 markets worldwide, the Softies disclosed late last week.

The SKU includes the 2013 versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.It also provides users with an additinal 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (for a total of 27 GB) and 60 Skype world minutes per month.

Microsoft is positioning Office 365 University as the subscription-centric upgrade to Office 2010 University and Mac 2011 University. In February this year, Microsoft quietly replaced the Office Professional Academic 2010 SKU with a new one called "Microsoft Office University 2010." The new SKU is for "higher-education" students and faculty only. Microsoft Office Home and Student is Microsoft's recommended product for parents and families with K-12 students.

The pricing: $1.67 per user per month, or $79.99 for a four-year subscription. (Note: The pricing for Office 365 University listed in a slide deck with which Microsoft has been providing partners listed the price at $3.30 per user per month. I've asked Microsoft officials why the pricing discrepancy. If I get a response, I'll update this post.)

Update: Looks like the $3.30 price in the partner deck was wrong. From a Microsoft spokesperson: "The pricing listed in the blog post officially announcing Office 365 University is the correct price."

I think Microsoft also plans to continue to offer Office 365 for Education, going forward. If the company does continue with this SKU, the new Office 365 line-up will look like this, as the new versions begin to roll out in November:

  • Office 365 Home Premium
  • Office 365 University
  • Office 365 for Education
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Office 365 Small Business
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office 365 Midsize Business
  • Office 365 Enterprise and Government

Update No. 2: Yes, Office 365 for Education goes forward in the "New Office" world order. From the aforementioned Microsoft spokesperson:  

"There's nothing new to announce today on any specific new additions to Office 365 for education, but similarly to other Office 365 offerings, Office 365 for education is being updated with new capabilities on quarterly basis and sometimes more frequently. This is part of our regular cadence of updates."

The difference between Office 365 for Education and Office 365 University is basically what I mentioned above, the spokesperson confirmed. "Office 365 for education is made available to students through their universities that are signed up for the Office 365 for education service. Office 365 University is sold at retail and available to any eligible university and college students, faculty and staff."

Are there any more new Office 365 SKUs up Microsoft's sleeve? Stay tuned...

Topics: Cloud, Collaboration, Microsoft


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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  • Having your cake, and eating it too.

    I have owned every version of Office since it's inception. I have spent enough time messing with the document format incompatibilities between versions, and the time-wasting learning curves that Microsoft pulls with new-look UI's that add nothing to functionality or the user experience.

    So I am OpenOffice, and staying there.
  • Subscriptions?

    If Microsoft were to actively offer a 365 subscription for a family at ~150$ for 4 years worth, you MIGHT see some people use it. Fact is, most people need Word and Excel. I definitely think you will see a LOT more people using Open Office, or if they are Mac users, the 20$ Apps of Pages, Numbers and Keynote, that can do pretty much all of what MS stuff can do. Microsoft will "Subscribe" themselves out of consumer homes and computers. People used to buy Office once every like 10 years. Once that isn't an option, they will switch to cheaper versions.
  • This is a new world of interconnectivity.

    Moving forward you will need to be fast and fluid to compete and stay relevant. Some of the hardware and software out there will become obsolete or handicaps to productivity.
  • Office 365 University

    Is there any difference between Office University 2010 and Office Professional Academic 2010? I currently, as a student, use the Academic 2010. Must I buy the University version on top of the Academic option, to enjoy Office 365 University?