Microsoft donates Office 365 to nonprofits, Surface team celebrates

Okay, it was an easy joke, I confess, but thanks to recent Surface sales, the concept is perhaps not too far from the truth. One division at Microsoft which delivers a large part of corporate revenue is Office. The latest version, Office 2013/365, blurs the lines between desktop and web app, and is powering an increasing number of large businesses and government offices.

Now, hot on the heels of caving to developers yesterday by releasing Windows 8.1 to TechNet and MSDN subscribers, the software giant announces yet another altruistic gesture, this time donating Office 365 to non-profit organizations. "Today we are donating to nonprofits and NGOs access to Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, enabling them to spend fewer resources and time on IT and focus on their missions addressing global issues, such as disease eradication, education and literacy, and environmental sustainability,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.

The new offer is initially available in 41 different countries, with plans to expand to 90 by July of 2014. The program also places no employee number limitations or other restrictions on any organization to qualify. Nonprofits from major organizations like the World Wildlife Fund right down to the local church are eligible.

This concept is not alien to Microsoft, the company claims to have donated $795 million in cash, software and services to 70,286 nonprofits in more than 115 countries around the world in fiscal 2013.

The latest gesture certainly buys the company good will, but it also helps out many that could not have afforded such a luxury before.

Image Credit: Grasko / Shutterstock

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