As of June 27th Microsoft introduced officially Office 365 for education, and while there is a wealth of information currently available you may still have questions as to what features are included and how to get started.  In this article we will try to address those questions for you.

What features are included in Office 365 for education’s free offering?

Office 365 for education like Office 365 for enterprise, is made of a combination of plans and suites. You have individual plans like Exchange Online Plan 1 or SharePoint Plan 2, as well as various other options.  Microsoft has built bundles or suites of these individual plans for our customers.  In education, there are three suites available – A2, A3 and A4.  In order to understand what these offers are at a high level you can take a look at the compare plans section for Office 365 for education, found here.  For some users, this may be enough information to decide, but what if you really want to get into the details.  Here is a simple breakdown of the plans–

 

A2

A3

A4

Exchange Online Plan 1

Exchange Online Plan 2

Exchange Online Plan 2

SharePoint Online Plan 1

SharePoint Online Plan 2

SharePoint Online Plan 2

Lync Online Plan 2

Lync Online Plan 2

Lync Online Plan 2

Office Web Apps

Office Web Apps

Office Web Apps

 

Office Professional Plus

Office Professional Plus

 

 

Lync Plus CAL

 

Now that you have this information please review the Service Descriptions for Office 365 (yes they are the same for education as the enterprise), and you’ll understand all of the great features that Office 365 has to offer.  

How to order Office 365 through the web portal

 So you have read all through all of the service descriptions and you are ready to move forward with Office 365.  At this point you have a choice to make order through your volume license agreement of order through the web portal.  If you want to order through your volume license agreement (EES), please contact either your reseller or Microsoft representative.  If you want to order directly through the Microsoft Online services portal please keep reading.  A few things to note if you choose the online services portal –

  1. All orders start as trials licenses, you will be provided 25 faculty and staff licenses as well as 25 student licenses, of Plan A3.
  2. If you follow the instructions and links provided here you will be able to convert to a production environment, this is not an option if you choose the enterprise trial.
  3. You must accept the Microsoft Online Services Agreement which is part of the sign-up process

You can start your trial environment for Office 365 for education here. You can see screen shots of the entire process in the embeded content below.

After two weeks you will be able to add production licenses through the administrator console, under the purchase section (even the free A2 SKUs).  

If you are still looking for more information on where to go from here, check out the Trial Guide - Learn more.