Microsoft is offering a free version of Office 365 to students and teachers around the globe, in a further sign its business model is shifting from traditional licensing.
Having begun in the US, the service will expand to most of the world’s countries, offering schools free access to World, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access and Publisher, as well as free storage on its OneDrive cloud service.
"Millions of students around the world are eligible for free Office from their school and today we are announcing that we’ve made it easy for all eligible students globally to sign up themselves to get Office 365 and install free Office," said a blog post form the Office 365 team.
"That includes the 5.5 million eligible students in Australia, the nearly 5 million eligible students in Germany, 7 million more in Brazil, 1.3 million at Anadolu University in Turkey, every student in Hong Kong and millions more."
The cloud software is intended for use both inside and outside the classroom, with pupils able to run the programs at home through their own computers. It will also allow students and teachers to collaborate on projects.