Microsoft Titles

Northwestern IT recommends faculty, staff, and students wait to upgrade to any new operating systems until after it has been approved by their local school or department IT support to avoid initially overlooked issues.

Northwestern University's agreement with Microsoft offers Microsoft Office software, core client access licenses, and operating system upgrades for University-owned computers. An OEM (Manufacturer) version of Microsoft Windows is required to be purchased along with any new computer to be eligible for Northwestern / Microsoft Windows Enterprise licensed operating systems.

The agreement also offers a Home Use Program for faculty and staff.

Student-owned computers are covered under the existing NU Select Agreement. Students may also take advantage of special EDU pricing through NUIT's Software Partner.

Microsoft Windows, Windows Server, and Office Products for University-Owned Machines

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise Desktop Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise Desktop Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

Core client access licenses (CALs) include Windows Server 2012 R2, Exchange Server 2013 Standard, SharePoint 2013 Standard, and SCCM 2012. A CAL is required for each computer accessing one of the Windows Server services.

All licensed copies of Windows can be updated to current versions of Windows. An OEM (Manufacturer) version of Microsoft Windows is required to be purchased along with any new computer to be eligible for Northwestern / Microsoft Windows Enterprise licensed operating systems.

Due to the multiple variations of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, media should be purchased through iBuyNU under the vendor SHI. KMS activation for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 works in the same manner as other KMS activations.

Office Professional Plus 2016 Products
  • Access
  • Excel
  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Publisher
  • Skype for Business
  • Word
Office 2016 for Mac Products
  • Excel
  • Lync
  • OneNote 
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word
Office Professional Plus 2013 Products
  • Access 2013
  • Excel 2013
  • InfoPath 2013
  • Lync 2013
  • OneNote 2013
  • Outlook 2013
  • PowerPoint 2013
  • Publisher 2013
  • Word 2013
Office Professional Plus 2010 Products
  • Access 2010
  • Communicator 2010
  • Excel 2010
  • InfoPath 2010
  • OneNote 2010
  • Outlook 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • Publisher 2010
  • SharePoint/Groove Workspace 2010
  • Word 2010

More information is available at Microsoft Office Suites.

Office 2011 for Mac Products
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Microsoft Server Exchange Support
  • Automator Actions for Workflows in Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Expression Media

More information is available at Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac.

The following Microsoft software is not included under this agreement: MS SQL Server client access licenses, MS-Visio, and MS-Project.

Computers Eligible for Software Installation

All University-owned computers are covered regardless of location. The home use provision also allows software to be purchased for personal use by faculty and staff at significantly discounted prices.

Download for University-Owned Machines

Northwestern faculty and staff can download software directly from NUIT's list of available software for use on University-owned computers.

University schools and departments can purchase media/DVDs within SHI using iBuyNU. These media kits can be used to install the software an unlimited number of times on covered computers. The purchase of individual licenses for covered computers is not required.

Product Activation and Key Information

With Microsoft Volume Licensing for products such as Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013, users must use a new type of product activation called Volume Activation (VA).

To activate these products with VA, NUIT has established a Key Management Service (KMS) host that computers need to access via the NU network periodically to activate. Activation should occur in the background and users should not have to manually process activation requests to the KMS host. Learn more about product activation and key information.

Additional Microsoft Software for University-Owned Machines

The existing Select Agreement for licensing Microsoft products remains in place. Products not covered under the newer Enterprise agreement can be licensed through the Select Agreement. University schools and departments that would like to own perpetual licenses for software can be purchased through the Select Agreement.

  • To order Microsoft titles using the Select Agreement, visit NUIT's software provider, or call 1-888-606-8512, or and indicate that you are with Northwestern.
  • It is suggested that both licenses and media be purchased on one order from NUIT's software provider unless your department already possesses the media.
Available Licenses
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Project
License and Install
  • Eligible Users — Available to Northwestern University departments, faculty, and staff for the purpose of University-related business or research.
  • Software must be installed on University-owned computers.
  • Upgrades — Upgrades are no longer offered. A new license must be purchased if a newer version is required.
  • Product use rights — Licensees must read Microsoft's product use rights for restrictions on use, especially as rights apply to derivative and redistributable works.

Microsoft Select Agreement Titles for Students and Personal Use

These licenses for Microsoft products are for personal use by Northwestern faculty, staff, and students. Microsoft software available for purchase for personal purposes, are indicated by the (p) OR (s) next to the software title on the list of available software.

License and Install (excluding Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus)
  • Each University employee or student is limited to one copy of each product.
  • Each product includes one license and one media kit (optional), with the right to install the product on one computer.
  • Products are protected by Microsoft's Registration Wizard, which allows installation up to two times on a single computer.

Microsoft Home Use Program

All Northwestern faculty and staff are eligible to purchase the following software titles at significantly discounted prices:

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 for Windows
  • Microsoft Office Home & Business 2011 for Mac

Learn more about the Microsoft Home Use Program.

Additional Information

Support Contacts

Support Contact:
Additional Microsoft Product Support is available on the Microsoft Web site.

NU Purchasing Resource Services

IT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
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