Microsoft said Tuesday that is leveraging its Office 365 product by offering it to students for free -- as long as their schools also purchase it for their faculty and staff. The program is called "Student Advantage" and gives students access to Office 365 ProPlus, which costs $144 per user annually. Microsoft said 35,000 academic institutions are eligible for this offer.
"Student Advantage makes it easy for qualifying institutions to provide students with the latest version of full Office at school and at home," Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft, said in a blog post.
This move is the latest in Microsoft's battle with Google for control of the education market. Just last week, Google unveiled Chromebooks aimed at that market. Under the Google education sales program, schools receive the Google Apps for Education offering for free, which includes Web-based email, calendar and documents for collaborative study.