Microsoft donating Office 365 to nonprofits in 41 countries

Microsoft has been signing up many new large corporate and government contracts for its Office 365 service lately, including 120,000 people who work for the state of New York. Today the company announced a program that will expand the use of the software suite to many more groups, but this time the costs are all on Microsoft's side.

The new effort will offer nonprofit groups and non-governmental organizations a way to use Office 365 for free. In a press release, Microsoft said the program will begin in 41 countries worldwide and will expand to 90 countries by July 2014.  Both small and large nonprofit groups will be able to benefit from this new effort.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, the president of Microsoft International, stated:

Nonprofits operate in the same way as any other organization or business; however, many lack the resources to implement the latest technology. The donation of Office 365 allows them to be more effective and efficient in the work they do.

While this new program is certainly a very noble gesture for Microsoft, one also has to believe that offering Office 365 to so many new users will also benefit the company when it sells the service to businesses and governments, as more people will become used to accessing the applications.

Source: Microsoft

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what missing from this article is the donation 'limitation'
such as:
- how much cloud storage available for the donation receivers ?
- for how long it subscription is "free"
- is the uploaded data/docs will be regularly inspected for Term of Use ?
- is there any privacy for the non-profit org, or must their uploaded docs/data will constantly monitored by the NSA/CIA/FBI/DEA ?
- are they allowed to encrypt their docs before it uploaded to the clouds ?

lets not forget MR gates isn't in the big chair as he is using his own fortune to try improve the lives of millions of people world wide, there are no nails in any ones coffin yet, not when your profits are in the billions. the big three Microsoft, Apple and Google 'would' make the world a better place if they worked together on projects and not try to out do the other. Should all charity and pensioners have access to free software if it improves there lives and the lives of those around them.

Never a bad strategy. It gets your product in use. Some people might buy it for their own personal use. The companies/agencies getting it free might even end up paying down the line. It also stops your competitors getting a chance at the business.

Don't put a negative spin on this. MS is a company to make profit, they have a lot of loose change. If anyone want MS to continue with this non profit, buy WP or Surface to support them instead.

minster11 said,
Don't put a negative spin on this. MS is a company to make profit, they have a lot of loose change. If anyone want MS to continue with this non profit, buy WP or Surface to support them instead.

Don't forget that whenever MS "donates" anything in this way they get tax credits.

Not that I'm holding it against them.

minster11 said,
Don't put a negative spin on this. MS is a company to make profit, they have a lot of loose change. If anyone want MS to continue with this non profit, buy WP or Surface to support them instead.

If anyone want MS to continue with this non profit, ASK to MS to get rid of stupid projects and ASK to MS to stop spending a fortune in clueless marketing.

This is going to help WP and Surface sales. Now there is even more reason for those organizations to drop iOS (and continue to laugh at Android's juvenalia)

Why stop progress, I like MS doing research and constantly evolved.

Brony said,

If anyone want MS to continue with this non profit, ASK to MS to get rid of stupid projects and ASK to MS to stop spending a fortune in clueless marketing.

How long will the free version persist? Unless it is free forever this seems like it could be a bad deal for the non-profit since Office 365 is subscription based. Microsoft could hold them hostage later...

LogicalApex said,
How long will the free version persist? Unless it is free forever this seems like it could be a bad deal for the non-profit since Office 365 is subscription based. Microsoft could hold them hostage later...

hold them hostage to what? switching to a free solution. please.

neonspark said,

hold them hostage to what? switching to a free solution. please.

If Microsoft ends the free subscription there will be a cost to either migrate to something else (including dealing with lost functionality) or paying the license fees Microsoft wants so you can keep going.

That is being held hostage...

In the good old days if MS gave them Office 2013 they could use that into perpetuity and decide to not upgrade if MS decided to no longer give them a free product.

But much like how Gates encouraged piracy to hope that it would lead to dependence in China*... The dope man always give you the first hit for free as he knows you'll be back for more eventually...

http://articles.latimes.com/20...09/business/fi-micropiracy9

The cost of migrating, delayed productivity and/or eventually paying licensing fees is always an important consideration for nonprofits. Like the Office 365 for Nonprofits donation offer, qualified nonprofits/NGOs can get Office Standard 2013 or Office Professional Plus 2013 as a donation or at a big discount through Microsoft's partner TechSoup: http://www.techsoup.org/Micros...MSDesktopApps/MSOfficeSuite.

That said, these non-cloud Office offers don't include the anywhere access and continual service updates/upgrades of Office 365 which, depending on a nonprofit's size, structure or mission, may prove very advantageous.

You can get a better idea of the Office 365 plans available at http://bit.ly/19EpG8Y or get answers to any questions about the donation offer at http://bit.ly/1fVE2U4.

You're right, one those non-profits have been seduced with the "free cloud software," when the annual subscription fee comes due--"Surprise, you've just been had" Now what are they going to do? Move their operations, again, to another application package? Hardly. How does one spell " r a p e?"

Google has officially lost the online office war. They will be filed into the ranks of Lotus, Word Perfect, iWorks, Open Office and the rest as an "also ran" niche product.

OrsenPike said,
The first hit is free.

You are absolutely right. There is nothing charity in this move. They want to expand subscription user base and then when they gain enough ground they are going to pull rug out of Perpetual version and the only option left will be Keep paying MS for perpetuity. Good for them but it's not good for users in long run. But some people are too blind to see it. I am using Kingsoft Office and it's best alternative to MS Office. Have all the functionality of Office suite, perfect document compatibility and best of all it has tab so you can open multiple documents without worrying about finding documents.

techbeck said,
Not discrediting it. Just not a surprise is all.

It sorta is since this is a subscription service that they're going to use for as long as the non-profit keeps operating, not like in the past where it was a one time gift of Office. I think the revenue difference is greater in this instance.

GP007 said,

It sorta is since this is a subscription service that they're going to use for as long as the non-profit keeps operating, not like in the past where it was a one time gift of Office. I think the revenue difference is greater in this instance.

Depends on what the non profit uses I guess. I worked for a well known nonprofit for 3yrs. We had server, workstation, sql, office, exchange...and a bunch more software donated to us.