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.