Microsoft is rolling out Office University 2010 for students with a much harder form of verification in an attempt to fight off non-students from purchasing cheap versions of the productivity suite.
The new process is much harder to circumvent and requires you to go online, since the product does not come with a product key needed for activation. Once online, you must verify your eligibility by signing in and providing a school email address. Once the verification is passed, the online site will display the product key.
"The big change is the validation process, as you’ll see on the big warning stickers on the packaging. Up to now, if you could persuade someone to sell you a copy, (even if you weren’t a student or faculty) it was yours to use. The change appears to be an effort to curtail the large number of ineligible people buying the Academic versions," the report on ZDNet states. In the past, all you had to do really is have a student purchase the Academic version of Office for you. Even those that were not students could manage to purchase the Academic version at some places.
Office University comes with Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, Publisher 2010, Access 2010, and Office Web Apps and usually costs under $100.
What about those who are not at a University? Microsoft still recommends using "Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010" for parents and families with K-12 students.