University students in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are the victims of Software4Students and Microsoft disagreements.
The alliance between Software4Students and Microsoft to provide software at discounted prices has been cancelled earlier this week. University students could until now purchase Microsoft licenses with discounts by 80% because of their affiliation with Microsoft and several educational institutions in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
The retail price for downloading a Microsoft Office Standard 2007 licence at the Microsoft Official Site is £349.99 while Software4Students supplies it for £35.45. The product is posted and the customer receives it to install it in his/her own computer, which avoids any downloading inconvenience.
The reason for this cancellation has not been revealed but a source from Software4Students confirmed by email: “Due to a change in license agreements that was put in place this week, we are temporarily not able to provide the software4students program to third level, further education and higher education students. We are working with Microsoft to resolve this and hope to have a solution in place soon.”
Software4student is a programme designed in 2003 in cooperation with Microsoft and many other software suppliers such as Naace, C2k, Kaspersky and Notion Music. It started providing software to Irish students whose parents could not afford the high prices of these products. The initiative was successful and soon expanded to the rest of the United Kingdom. Around 33.000 schools and colleges have agreements with Software4Students and approximately 18 million students are eligible to purchase their software through this website.
This situation aggravates furthermore the already difficult beginning of the course for the students, who generally do not have much money in their pockets and who this year will have to cope with nothing less than a global financial crisis, besides presentations, dissertations, essays and tests.