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Microsoft uses Xbox Live as a carrot for Office 365

Microsoft's latest back-to-school promotion for Office 365 uses Xbox Live Gold as an enticement for Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University subscriptions.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Contributor on

In what's likely to be the first of many similar examples to come, Microsoft is using a consumer product to try to entice users to buy a business one with its new Xbox Live-Office 365 deal.

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Advertised as a back-to-school offer, the new promotion allows users buying an Office 365 Home Premium annual subscription or Office 365 Unviersity subscription to get 12 months of Xbox Live Gold for free.

The deal is not currently available in the U.S. (I've asked Microsoft officials if and when it will be, but have yet to hear back.)

Update: It turns out the Xbox Live-Office 365 deal is also available in the U.S. and Microsoft is updating its other sites to make this clear.

The deal is offered in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hon Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the U.K.

The deal runs from July 18, 2013 to September 28, 2013. Customers have until October 31 to redeem the offer at http://www.office.com/xbox.

For $100 per year,  an annual Office 365 Home Premium subscription allows users to install Office client apps on up to five PCs and/or Macs in total. Users who subscribe rather than buy the single-use Office 2013 complement outright, also get synchronization capabilities by signing in through Office.com, and are slated to receive regular feature updates. Office 365 University is a four-year subscription, which allows users to install Office client apps on up to two PCs and/or Macs in total.

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