A lot of kids who attend Catholic schools will soon be able to access Microsoft's cloud-based office software for free. Today, Microsoft announced plans to offer the Microsoft Office 365 service to over 4.5 million students in Catholic schools as part of a new collaboration with the Catholic International Education Office.
The three year deal could be expanded to cover even more students in the future. The OIEC helps out 210,000 schools in 102 countries around the world, covering 43 million Catholic school students. Today's announced deal with Microsoft will help establish an online network that will be used by all of the OIEC schools.
Microsoft said the deal will also cover " ... curriculum and training to develop digital literacy skills, help integrate technology into teaching and learning, and provide blueprints for innovative schooling."
In a statement, Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, said:
An innovative and forward-thinking Catholic organization is supporting the modernization of their schools, working with Microsoft and mutual partner Tralcom to deliver technology solutions to Catholic students and educators around the world. We are excited about delivering on the technology needs of these students and supporting a global community of individuals with shared values, and helping to ensure they are well-equipped for the jobs of tomorrow.
Source: Microsoft press release