Microsoft software to be available free to students

Beginning Jan. 9, UC Berkeley students will be able to download Microsoft Office and operating system software for free, student and campus officials announced in a campuswide email Tuesday.

The free software to students comes as the result of a license agreement arranged through the campus cost-cutting Operational Excellence initiative’s Productivity Suite project. The download will be available this year and next, according to the email.

Earlier this year, a similar agreement was reached as part of the project to allow students to download Adobe software for free.

Read the full text of the email below.

We are pleased to announce that the campus has signed a license agreement to provide Microsoft Office and Operating System software to all students at no cost this year and next. Students will be able to download one copy of the following products and may keep the software perpetually upon graduation.

Office Professional Plus or Office for Mac Home & Business (one or the other, not both)
Microsoft Windows Desktop Operating System (OS) upgrades including Windows 7 Enterprise

The software will be available for download beginning Monday, January 9, 2012. Check the Student Technology Council`s (STC) website,, in January for download information.

This agreement is part of the Operational Excellence-sponsored Productivity Suite (PS) project. The goal of this project is to reduce complexity and costs and, at the same time, distribute licenses for the most commonly used software and tools so that everyone can work with the most current version. The Adobe agreement reached at the start of the fall semester is also part of this project.

Have not downloaded Adobe yet?  Go to the STC`s “Downloads“ page,  Links to help with troubleshooting are on the same page. Watch for information about spring semester Adobe training and a T-shirt design contest using Adobe products.

During this academic year, ASUC President Vishalli Loomba and Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab are partnering with the STC on assessing and advising the PS project; first, to support the adoption and use of these popular software products, and second, to gauge interest and usage for such a program over the longer term. Depending upon student feedback and students` continued level of interest, alternatives for cost recovery for student downloads will be explored. More information about these efforts can be found on the STC`s “Downloads“ page,

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Vishalli, Bahar, or the STC ([email protected]).

Vishalli Loomba
President, ASUC
[email protected]

Bahar Navab
President, Graduate Assembly
[email protected]

Shel Waggener
Associate Vice Chancellor-IT and CIO

John Wilton
Vice Chancellor
Administration & Finance

J.D. Morris is the university news editor.