Collaboration will help prepare students with necessary skills and training needed to enter the workforce

New York, NY – City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with Microsoft Corporation, and The City University of New York (CUNY) today announced a collaboration to provide free Microsoft Office 365 to over 400,000 CUNY students. This public-private effort will expand access to tech education, putting more New Yorkers at a greater advantage to gain the proficiency necessary to succeed in business and in the global workforce. This half a billion dollar program is an expansion of an initiative that was announced in the Speaker’s State of the City speech, committing to ensure that New York City students have access to software that will benefit them in their collegiate career as well as prepare them for the workforce. Joining the Speaker and Microsoft in today’s announcement were Richard Langford of Microsoft Corporation, Kathy Wylde, Partnership for New York City, James B. Miliken, Chancellor for the The City University of New York (CUNY) and Mitchel Wallerstein, President of Baruch College.

“The Council is proud to work with Microsoft to ensure that the next generation of New York City’s workforce will be proficient in technical skills that are crucial for a successful career,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito. “Public-private partnerships such as these allow us to take innovative steps that make give students at city schools and CUNY colleges an edge in tomorrow’s job market. I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Council and our partners at Microsoft for making this valuable investment in the future possible.”

“Microsoft is committed to providing students with the tools and resources to help prepare them for success in college and career,” said Margo Day, Vice President, U.S. Education. “Microsoft Office 365 provides students, faculty, and staff with the collaboration opportunities necessary to learn and teach in new ways for any device. We’re pleased to see the CUNY and the New York City Council taking the steps to ensure that the students of New York City receive a 21st century education.

Available now, students currently enrolled in participating CUNY schools will be able to download the Microsoft Office 365 software at no cost to them on up to 5 personal computers or Macs and 5 tablets, iPads, smart phones, or other devices. Office 365 provides up to date access to the latest versions of Microsoft’s applications, online document editing and one terabyte of cloud storage. This offer extends across all platforms and includes the following for each:

Office 365 ProPlus on Windows: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Lync, Access, InfoPath and Publisher installed on Windows
Office for Mac Professional 2011: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Lync
Office for iPad, iPhone, Android: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote

“This agreement will pair the best and brightest students New York City has to offer with the tools and technology they need to succeed in a rapidly changing economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “Microsoft’s technology is poised to transform middle school and high school classrooms throughout the city and it is bound to do the same at the college level. This is one of many examples of how the city’s largest employers are ensuring that New Yorkers have the skills and tech savvy needed to secure jobs in the current economy.”

Office 365 is available to all students, faculty and staff at participating CUNY schools and can be downloaded when students log into The download is a simple three-click process and students with current Office 365 accounts can get the full offer by going to their settings to download. Some of this software has education-specific content and features that teachers can tailor for their classroom needs.

“With the help of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Microsoft, students can work more efficiently and faculty and staff at every CUNY campus will have access to the same digital tools, computing language and software,” said The City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor James B. Milliken. The agreement with Microsoft will ensure that our students graduate ready to enter offices, fully capable of using the platforms they encounter—a significant leap forward in workforce development.”

“Now more than ever, access to quality technology is crucial to a well-rounded education,” said James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “I commend the Speaker and my colleagues in the Council for negotiating this tremendous public-private partnership with Microsoft to provide free software to CUNY Students. As a college educator, I’m thrilled that all students will now be able to use the most up-to-date software to perform their best academically.”

“I am excited that our Speaker is coming to her alma mater to provide students with free software that they will be able to utilize,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. “Thank you CUNY, Microsoft, Partnership for NY, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for this great opportunity.”

“I strongly believe that giving the student body Microsoft Office for free on multiple electronic devices will allow us to be more productive, more knowledgeable, and more prepared for the real world,” said Christopher Wong, student at Baruch College .“On behalf of Baruch College, thank you!”