Microsoft Site License - Information



What does the Microsoft license with Duke mean to you?

Microsoft Windows upgrades and MS Office are free of charge for community members, with some notable exceptions. We explain our recommendations below. The Windows license requires that you already have a license for Windows or a recent Macintosh OS.

How do I acquire the software?

See below.

To whom do I turn with my questions?

Please contact the Academic Technologies help desk (at the service desk in the law library; 919-613-7072;

What kind of licenses are there?

All of the licensed software is available to Duke users while they are part of Duke. However, there are also circumstances under which users can acquire licenses that extend use beyond their stay at Duke.

How does the licensing work in practice?

Some of Microsoft's software is protected from piracy by requiring an account or a "key" that is entered. In some cases, an institutional key is entered by Academic Technologies on the user's behalf; in the others, the user is issued an individual key. Other software is available under an "online activation" scheme – the software reactivates itself every few days for six months at a time, as long as the computer is on the Duke network or connected to the network via VPN. After half a year away from the Duke network, the software may deactivate and lose functionality. Still other software requires a NetID login to keep functioning.

How is Academic Technologies supporting this license?

The following table represents our practices and recommendations.

Group Situation License Notes
Faculty and staff Office computer Fully covered Ac Tech staff installs and maintains
Faculty at home and travelling University-owned laptop or desktop Fully covered Ac Tech staff installs and maintains when at the law school
Faculty at home Personal computer (if no university-owned computer) Covered as resources allow Ac Tech staff installs as resources and time allows (at the law school). You may wish to use the At Home program described for staff.
Staff at home Personal computer Office applications covered under MS At Home Program ($9.95); staff can also install Office on a home computer through Office 365 for Duke-related work

Contact the help desk for assistance. Office 365 applications can be downloaded via Settings in Outlook Web App ( Follow links for Office 365 and software install.

For Office at Home, go to the OIT software website  and follow the links for Microsoft Office. As a staff member you will be directed to the Office at Home program web page:

(At the time of this writing, there was a similar offering for a Windows download at the site that sells At Home Microsoft Office. However, it is unclear whether that will continue to be offered.)

Students Personal computer For day-to-day use, you can download Office from Office 365. Before you graduate, download a graduation copy via the OIT software pages. If you are using a copy downloaded from Office 365 ( and are leaving the law school soon, you will want to acquire the personal licensed version (aka the graduation copy) through OIT. You must acquire the software before you graduate.