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Microsoft picks up the tab for Office 365 for many students

Microsoft just picked up the check on Office 365 for a bunch of schools and kids out there. Redmond just launched Student Advantage, which is an initiative that aims to provide access to Office 365 to students at over 35,000 educational institutions all over the world. However, there are one of two key conditions that the school must meet in order to provide Office 365 to its student body free of charge.

As long as the school has a license for Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for its staff and faculty, the school can extend the use of those licenses to its students as well. Microsoft said that they have already partnered with the Sao Paulo State Department of Education in Brazil, which will give access to Office 365 to over four million kids.

So what’s Microsoft’s motivation behind the program? Their official blog post states that many job vacancies require proficiency in Microsoft Office, with PowerPoint and Word skills specifically sought after by employers. However, this won’t hurt Office 365 adoption numbers, which Microsoft is probably looking to prop up in the face of free Office alternatives like those offered by Google.

For what it’s worth, Microsoft’s announcement post even took time to point out that “Google’s own job postings require competency with Microsoft Office tools.” Zing.