Students returning in the fall will have expanded access to vital Microsoft programs through an updated licensing agreement between the company and Central Michigan University’s Office of Information Technology.
The university’s agreement with Microsoft now allows access to nearly the full array of the most used Microsoft Office products at no charge for active students. Students will be able to download the products directly to their personal computers and laptops from within their CMU email account.
“The focus of the agreement for educational institutions is on more than just the school,” said Herman S., supervisor of pre-sales and licensing for Microsoft. “We try to target the students specifically to support them during the period of their education.”
As part of Microsoft’s media relations policy, the full names of support staff employees are not released to the public. Central Michigan Life attempted to identify Herman fully, however his name was not disclosed on the website or by other Microsoft officials due to “security reasons.”
Microsoft gave the added perks for to CMU for free as part of the existing agreement. Herman added that Microsoft gives discounted software to educational institutions regularly to enable students to achieve their goals, by not only providing the tools to do so, but also basic training in information technology and other technical fields.
“We grant students the access to these applications for free because they are something that most people use on a daily basis,” Herman said. “We know that students need to have access to these types of benefits not only in the classrooms but also at home and on their personal laptops, so that’s why the benefit is included.”
Kole Taylor, communications manager for OIT, said CMU needs these licensing agreements to run its own software on campus-wide machines. This extends to operating systems, studio software and specialty programs in computer labs.
Additionally, students will be provided with one terabyte of online storage through OneDrive Pro, a dropbox storage space also accessible for those with cmich.edu email accounts.
To put it in perspective, a terabyte equals 17,000 hours of music, which Taylor described as “an insane amount.”
“We have to turn this on for students but it happens on a per-account level,” Taylor said. “That’s why we wanted to get this communication out and start enabling it now. It won’t take too terribly long and should be ready by the fall semester.”