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Microsoft Office 365 Offers and New Features

From time to time, Microsoft will notify Office 365 subscribers of offers and features that may or may not actually be available to them. Because there are many different Office 365 subscription levels and because the notifications are often a "blanket announcement" to any and all subscribers, some of these offers are misdirected.

Microsoft has been adding and revising its Office 365 features at a rapid pace, and as a result, you may become aware of a new offer or feature before Computer Services does. If you have received an email from Microsoft or a notification (called Alerts) while logged into the Staff & Faculty Outlook Web App, please let us know so that we can review it for eligibility with our Office 365 subscription and evaluate it so that we can make recommendations to our users.

 

CURRENT OFFERS AND FEATURES:

"GET MICROSOFT OFFICE FOR FREE"

MSAlert

The most notable example of a misdirected offer is the Office 365 ProPlus offer that invites Office 365 for Education subscribers to download the desktop versions of the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). NSCAD does not actually qualify for this offer. This is only for institutions on the paid version of the Office 365 education plan. We are on the free plan, which entitles us to an impressive number of features and services, but not the free desktop versions of Office. If you have followed all of the steps outlined in this non-applicable offer and have downloaded and installed the programs, you will find that you are unable to actually run the programs after installation.

 

THE "CLUTTER" FEATURE

ClutterFeature

The "Clutter" feature is essentially a very aggressive spam filter that is included with NSCAD's Office 365 for Education plan, but while the feature sounds great in theory, it might do more harm than good in practice. This feature "learns" what you consider "low-priority" email based on your mail sorting habits. Unfortunately, there is a substantial learning curve involved for both the Clutter feature and for the user. Clutter will inevitably make mistakes and send important mail to the Clutter folder rather than your Inbox, so if you don't make a habit of checking the "Clutter" folder, you might miss important messages. People wishing to turn the feature on may do so, but we are not recommending it at this time.