Discounted Microsoft Office Software Available to Faculty and Staff

(8-27-98) -- Boston College has signed a letter of intent to participate in a new Microsoft Corp. educational licensing program that offers substantial advantages and discounts to higher educational institutions.

Although there is no contract between the University and Microsoft yet, the signing of the letter means Boston College faculty and staff can now install Microsoft Office 97 for PCs or Microsoft Office 98 for Macintosh on existing Boston College-owned computers at considerable savings. In addition, offices and departments ordering new computers through the Tech Distribution Center will be able to order Microsoft Office at the same reduced rate.

Information Technology Academic and Research Services Director Robert Kuhn said there may be further benefits in the near future, once Microsoft legally releases the license and Boston College has the chance to review it in its final form. The plan allows colleges and universities to pay a single annual fee based on the number of administrative and faculty users for a wide range of software, including operating system updates, word processing and spreadsheet software, programming language tools and programs for producing World Wide Web pages.

The specifics of the program, expected to begin this fall, have not yet been finalized by Microsoft, according to Kuhn.

The Campus Agreement would allow the University community to have common, compatible versions of popular software packages such as Word and Excel on all desktops, administrators say, thus improving transfers of data around the campus.

"One of the major objectives of Project Delta is to eliminate unnecessary steps in supporting and maintaining systems," said Delta Project Manager James Kreinbring. "The Campus Agreement would help enormously with this."

In the meantime, the administrators said, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to upgrade their Microsoft Office package. However, since the University and Microsoft do not have a formal contract in place, installations on existing computers will be carefully tracked through the U-BUY system. Kuhn explained that this interim measure is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the letter of intent.

To take immediate advantage of this offer, offices and departments must obtain from the Tech Distribution Center a CD-ROM containing the Microsoft Office software. For further information, refer to the Information Technology Computing and Communications World Wide Web page of frequently asked questions.

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