Ryerson students may soon get free access to the Microsoft suite

Illustration: Lulu Tanenbaum

Rye’s plan to get suite-er

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By Laura Woodward

Being a student has its technological perks — depending on which university you go to.

Different universities offer free software downloads to students throughout their duration of academic enrolment. Downloads may include email providers, antivirus security, web browsers and now application suites.

McGill, Queen’s and University of Toronto (U of T) students now have full and free access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus — which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Lync. The suite is available to be run on up to five machines, Mac or PC, and up to five mobile devices.

These universities use Microsoft Office Live as their email provider, which gives them early access to free downloads to the Microsoft Suite.

Ryerson is aiming to get on board soon without switching from its current email provider, Google, to Microsoft Live.

“Microsoft’s initial estimate is that Office 365 Pro will be available to Ryerson students at no cost in December of this year, but there are no guarantees,” said Brian Lesser, director of Ryerson’s Computing and Communication Services.

Lesser added that Ryerson has also been in talks with Adobe to make their Creative Suite more financially accessible to students.

Currently, the suite has a 60 per cent discount for Ryerson students.

“The thing Adobe has generally been looking at for universities and colleges is dropping the price even more, if we can guarantee them more sales,” Lesser said.

This would entail making Adobe programs mandatory for media heavy courses like photography and graphic design.

“But Ryerson has yet to come to an agreement,” Lesser said.

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