Microsoft Subscription Based-Licensing (M365)
Beginning in November 2019, Caltech started transitioning to Microsoft's subscription-based license model, M365.
What is our current Microsoft license model?
Currently, Caltech has a Microsoft volume license for Office and Windows. This software was traditionally offered via https://software.caltech.edu. The license was perpetual and once installed it could stay on your computer indefinitely, until an update or re-install was necessary.
Why do we have to change to a subscription based license?
Microsoft now requires that all customers transition to subscription-based licensing. This ensures that only those individuals with active Caltech accounts can use the Office and Windows licenses purchased by the Institute.
What is M365?
M365 is Microsoft's subscription-based license model for Office and Windows. This license is assigned to those people with an active affiliation at Caltech.
M365 includes two license categories A3 and A1.
- A3 is full featured for users with heavy computer use. Microsoft refers to these users as knowledge workers
- A1 has less features and is meant for users that spend minimal time at a computer. Microsoft refers to these users as light users
What is included in A3 and A1 licenses?
|A3 Student||A3 Non Student||A1 Light Users|
|Microsoft Office (desktop)||Y - up to 5 devices||Y - up to 5 devices||N|
|Microsoft Office Online||Y||Y||Y|
|Windows (for Caltech owned computers ONLY)||Y - up to 5 devices||Y - up to 5 devices||N|
Who qualifies for M365 licenses?
Because this is a subscription based model, only actively affiliated people at Caltech will receive an M365 license. Once a person leaves Caltech, the license is removed. Please see below for "What happens when I leave Caltech?"
|A3 Student||A3 Non Student||A1 Light Users|
|Academic Faculty (including Emeritus)||X|
|Academic Faculty: Visiting Associates||X|
|Academic Non-Faculty (Postdocs)||X|
|Academic Non-Faculty: Visitors||X|
|External Affiliates: Temp Employees||X|
|Staff: Light Users (employees that do not use a computer for their day to day jobs)||X|
Please note that there may be some exceptions to these licenses.
What if I already have Office and Windows?
If you previously installed Office or Windows on your computer(s) from https://software.caltech.edu, you may continue to use that software. This license will not expire.
However, if you need to upgrade or install a new copy of Office, you will need to download the software from the Office Portal.
How do I download Microsoft Office?
- Log in to https://portal.office.com with your email@example.com and your access.caltech password.
- Click on your name or profile picture on the top right.
- Select My account
- On the left menu, click My installs
You can install Office on up to 5 devices.
How do I download Windows?
Until March 31, 2020 Windows Pro may be downloaded from https://software.caltech.edu (for eligible faculty and staff for Caltech-owned computers). M365 includes an upgrade license for Windows Enterprise, pre-requisites may be found here.
What happens when I leave Caltech?
Your Caltech account will no longer be active and you will no longer have an M365 subscription.
- Email - You may request to forward your email. This must be done before your account is deleted.
- Microsoft Office - If you previously installed Office through your M365 subscription, it will switch to read-only mode. You will still be able to open Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), but you will not be able to make any edits. To continue to use the full features of Microsoft Office, you will need to purchase your own copy of Office.
- Windows - You should NOT activate the M365 Windows Enterprise license on your personal computer. After leaving Caltech the license will no longer be valid making the Operating System inoperable.
Can alumni keep their email address?
Alumni have the option of registering for an alumni email account (@alumni.caltech.edu), which may be kept indefinitely. For more information please visit https://www.alumni.caltech.edu/email-services
What M365 benefits are available for Retirees?
Retirees will be assigned A1 licenses. This allows retirees to keep their email account (50GB) and access to Office Online. Retirees may check Caltech email via https://outlook.office.com
If you would like to check your email using the Outlook client, you will need to purchase your own copy of Microsoft Office.
For any other questions, please contact the Help Desk at https://help.caltech.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, or x3500.