Office 365 is now free for User Groups

Published on 20 March 2012

Back in June 2011, I asked an open question to the community regarding Office 365.  The question was simple...

Can .Net User Groups get Office 365 for free?

To me, it seemed like a simple enough question, however, at the time, it seemed that there was no simple answer.  Once the Office 365 Beta that I was using for managing the Aberdeen Developers .Net User Group email expired, I transitioned to using a paid P1 plan.  This was for a number of reasons:

  1. The Office 365 Service is very good!  It does exactly what it says on the tin, and I had already done the hard work of setting up the domain, and getting it all working.
  2. As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, it is not a huge amount of money for the service, so I was happy to pay for it.  The only slight problem being that other members of the User Group simply use email aliases, rather than having a full-blown mailbox, as we couldn’t warrant paying for an account for everyone.
  3. There was still no confirmation on whether we could, or could not get it for free.

However, thanks to an email from Andrew Westgarth (@apwestgarth), I am happy to be able to let you know that through UGSS (User Group Support Services), it is now possible to get an E3 Office 365 Plan for your User Group.  Full details of the offer can be found here:

I have just started the registration process, so I haven’t got this all setup yet, but if I run into any problems, I will let you know.  I am hoping that there isn’t going to be a problem with already having a paid Office 365 Plan, as the registration instructions mention starting a trial Office 365 Plan, but we will wait and see.

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