Most Microsoft software now free to Stanford users.

Originally posted December 11, 2013. Last revision August 11, 2014

Stanford has negotiated a site license with Microsoft to get free access to their software in several categories.

What is available?

  • All Microsoft software products can be freely installed on Stanford owned computers, including servers.

  • Students can get a free copy of Windows, Office (Windows or Mac), Visio, and Project to use on a personally owned computer.

  • Certain development software (such as Visual Studio) can be freely installed by Stanford faculty, staff, and students on any computer that they use, regardless of who owns the computer, for teaching, research, and learning purposes only.

  • In addition to the free software above, faculty and staff can purchase a copy of Office (Windows or Mac) for only $10 to install on their personal computer at home.

What does this mean for you?

When buying a new computer with Stanford's money, don't purchase Office, Windows upgrades, or other Microsoft software. Buy new Stanford owned Windows PCs with the cheapest version of Windows (7 home edition, for example) and then just upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise under this new site license. New Stanford-owned computers should be setup by CRC anyway (put in a HelpSU request) so they can be encrypted as required by university management. CRC can then install the newer Windows version plus Office (Windows or Mac). Windows editions available under this program can also be freely used on Stanford owned Mac OS X computers to create virtual machines in conjunction with the existing site license for VMware Fusion.

Students now have free access to standard Microsoft software for a personally owned computer and should upgrade to the latest versions.

Faculty and staff cannot get any free Windows or Office products for their personal computers, but can purchase Office (Windows or Mac) at an extreme discount.

How do you get this software?

All software under this program is made available as electronic downloads only. There will be no DVDs or other physical media. Use the following websites to request or download Microsoft software.

Stanford owned computers.

Except for the ERE computers that are centrally imaged, it is best to simply put in a HelpSU request and let our CRC consultants install the Microsoft software that you need on your Stanford owned computer. Users can also self-install Office (Windows or Mac), Visio, and Project from the Essential Stanford Software site at:

Student personally owned computers.

Students can get one free copy of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Office (Windows or Mac), Visio, and Project for a personally owned computer from:

Click on the Personal Purchase Software tab.

Development tools for all computers.

Faculty, staff, and students can download Microsoft development tools for use on any computer they use, regardless of who owns it, as long as the software is used only for teaching, research, and learning purposes. Go to:

Click on the Microsoft tab, and then on the Stanford Machine heading that appears. Be aware that the available software includes some obsolete packages. Carefully check the description and system requirements before downloading. The Windows Server software on this site is for testing only. Any "production" server should get software via a HelpSU ticket.

Faculty and staff home computers.

Faculty and staff can purchase a single copy of either Office for Windows or Office for Mac OS X for $10 to install on their personal home computer. Go to:

Click on the Microsoft tab, and then on the Personal Machine heading that appears. Select the product you want and add it to your cart to purchase.

Comments or Questions?