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office365logoCharities in 41 countries around the world will be able to use Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite Office 365 for free or at a substantially reduced price.

Organisations that qualify will be given the free licences to use in their workplace, once they prove their charitable status.

The company said the initiative will be available in 90 countries by July 2014.

“Choosing the right cloud solution increases your organisation’s efficiency, saves on technology costs, and fosters your best collaboration,” Microsoft said on its charity website.

Charities that want to use desktop versions of the software will be able to get them for a reduced rate of $4.50 instead of the usual $20.

The free E1 package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Lync available through the browser. The second, paid version, has the desktop versions of the software as well as Excel, Access, Visio, Yammer and InfoPath.

Last year, Microsoft made the A2 version of its Office 365 for Education available to students and academic staff for free.

“Today we are donating to non-profits 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,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.

“Non-profits operate in the same way as any other organisation or business. However, many lack the resources to implement the latest technology. The donation of Office 365 allows them to be more effective and efficient in the work they do.”

Microsoft donated $795 million in cash, software and services to 70,286 non-profits in more than 115 countries around the world this year, it said.

Source: CloudPro