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Microsoft Campus Agreement - FAQ

This article answers frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

I need a copy of Microsoft Office/Windows for my computer so that I can do my schoolwork or other University related work. Where can I get a copy of one of these products for my computer?

What is the Microsoft Campus Agreement, is this some sort of Site License?

So I get my own individual copy of Microsoft Office/Windows for FREE!

So what’s the catch?

What happens if I have a problem installing the software?

My computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements for the current version of Office/Windows, can I get an older version through this program?

My computer does not have an operating system on it, can I just use the Windows CD offered through the Campus Agreement to install on my computer?

I need a database for my Macintosh. Does the Campus Agreement include any database software for the Macintosh?

Is it legal for a department to purchase one copy of the media (with a Form 62) and loan it out to staff and faculty within the department? What about Student Media?

Is there an "official" media we should be using to install Office/Windows/etc., or can we use the media we purchased before the MSCA was started?

How many installations can I perform using the Student Media?


I need a copy of Microsoft Office/Windows for my computer so that I can do my schoolwork or other University related work. Where can I get a copy of one of these products for my computer?

Actively enrolled University Of Chicago students can now download Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows for free by visiting: http://softwarediscount.uchicago.edu/. Sign in with your CNetID and password. Active staff and faculty can also download the software for personal use at a greatly reduced price.

What is the Microsoft Campus Agreement, is this some sort of Site License?

The Microsoft Campus Agreement is “a non-perpetual, annual license that is based upon the number of Faculty, Staff and Students that are currently enrolled/employed at the University of Chicago.” This means that current Faculty, Staff, and Students of the University of Chicago can install and use the software purchased via the license agreement for 12 months from the date of purchase. At the end of the license agreement, the University can then renew the license agreement; if the University decides not to renew, then we must un-install the software and discontinue use.

So I get my own individual copy of Microsoft/Office Windows for FREE!

Hold on a minute there! You get the RIGHT TO USE the software, WHILE YOU ARE a current Faculty, Staff or Student of the University. You do NOT own the license; that remains the property of the University of Chicago — you simply are eligible to use the license while you are affiliated with the University.

So what's the catch?

Other than dealing with the inconvenience of not having your own personal copy of the CDs and manuals AND not being eligible for complimentary technical support from Microsoft, there are none.

What happens if I have a problem installing the software?

The ITS Service Desk provides up-and-running installation support for the software made available through the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Individuals are NOT eligible for complimentary telephone support directly from Microsoft, but you can certainly feel free to utilize whatever online resources that Microsoft provides as well as their for-pay offerings.

My computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements for the current version of Office/Windows; can I get an older version through this program?

No, only the CURRENT versions are available through the University of Chicago Microsoft Campus Agreement. If you wish to run current versions of these products, then you should upgrade your machine to meet the minimums, or acquire a new machine which will be able to run the software.

My computer does not have an operating system on it, can I just use the Windows CD offered through the Campus Agreement to install on my computer?

No, the Campus Agreement only provides us with Win-32 Operating System UPGRADE rights. You must already have a legally licensed Microsoft Operating System on your machine to upgrade.

I need a database for my Macintosh. Does the Campus Agreement include any database software for the Macintosh?

No, the Campus Agreement does not include any database software for the Macintosh. In fact, Microsoft no longer actively markets a database product for the Macintosh platform (FoxPro 2.6 was the last database product that was released by Microsoft for the Mac). The main Database product that Microsoft develops – Access – is currently only available on Windows.

Is it legal for a department to purchase one copy of the media (with a Form 62) and loan it out to staff and faculty within the department? What about Student Media?

Yes, this is allowed as long as those individuals it is loaned to meet the current eligibility criteria.

Students are NOT permitted to loan/lend their copies of the Student Media. Each copy of Student Media has a unique Product Key through which Microsoft has implemented Product Activation, which limits the number of possible installations using a particular key. In accordance with the Microsoft End-User License Agreement, student users may install a copy of Microsoft Office on a single computer, then install a second copy of Microsoft Office for their exclusive use on a portable computer. For other Campus Agreement software, student users may install a copy of the software on a single computer only. If a student were to lend/loan their copy of the Student Media, then they would find that no more installations are possible once the install limit has been reached and the associated activation has been performed.

Is there an ‘official’ media we should be using to install Office/Windows/etc., or can we use the media we purchased before the MSCA was started?

If you already have media for a specific product, you may use that for additional legal installations for eligible users. For some products – such as Office and Windows – you will find that Microsoft has implemented certain “features” which do not allow multiple installations to occur from the Shrink-Wrapped Academic Edition package. The Departmental versions do NOT have the multiple install "features", so these should be used for large scale deployments.

How many installations can I perform using the Student Media?

The product use rights for the software covered by the Microsoft Campus Agreement differ by product. Windows Operating System product use rights permit use on only one computer, so the student media limits the number of unique installations to ONE (re-installation onto the same computer is permitted) for Windows upgrades. The usage terms for the Office products permit a “secondary use”, so the student media should allow TWO unique installations (NOTE: When Office is installed on a secondary computer, both installations can only be used for school-related purposes only – no personal use). The product use rights for the other Campus Agreement software only permit use on ONE computer, so the student media may only permit you to perform ONE installation.




Keywords:site license "site licensing" software   Doc ID:19446
Owner:Brian P.Group:University of Chicago
Created:2011-08-02 18:00 CSTUpdated:2016-11-29 10:07 CST
Sites:University of Chicago, University of Chicago - Sandbox
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