Windows 8 free for students

By Michaela Kaberline
On January 31, 2013

Colorful tiles, a new home screen and various applications on the start-up page are just a few new items on the list of why Windows 8 is much different from Windows 7.

On Jan. 17, the IT department sent out an email to inform students they could download various software to their computers for free including Microsoft Office 2013, Windows 8 and Windows 7. On Jan. 18, the ASU IT store posted a link for students to visit to download the software.

Although the IT store and IT department announced the link was available to students, some students still werent aware of the release or that it was free to students with a valid ASU student email.

Taylor Lemonds, a senior chemistry major of Dumas, said he was unaware of the software release.

I knew we had certain software available to ASU students, Lemonds said. But I didnt hear about Windows 8 being released to students for free.

Other students were waiting several months before they could download Windows 8 for free through the school.

Since I work at Best Buy, I was able to kind of play around with Windows 8 while I was at work, said Erika Schrunk, freshman business marketing major of Cabot. I was going to download it to my computer a few weeks ago, but I would have had to pay for it. So, Im glad I decided to wait until it was released to students for free.

Schrunk said one of her favorite features of Windows 8 is the live tiles feature. These tiles act as the start-up pop-up menu Windows 7 had. Windows 8 allows you to change some applications on the live tiles to fit your needs better. The live tiles hold applications such as the weather, email, Internet Explorer, calendar and social media sites.

Although it took me three and a half hours to download, I think Windows 8 is a lot more efficient for multitasking than Windows 7 was, Schrunk said. Its hard to find your way around Windows 8 at first just because youre used to the way Windows 7 was, but eventually you start figuring things out and its much simpler. The whole start-up menu is different, but I love the interaction with the live tiles and applications.

Freshman journalism major of Washington D.C., Katherine Dickerson said she thinks Windows 8 is really a step-up for Windows.

Just from what Ive heard and seen, Windows 8 is way cooler than Windows 7, Dickerson said. I am a Mac-user, but if I had a PC, I would definitely download it.

Students can find out how to download the new and old software by looking at the ASU IT Stores Facebook page for the link, going into the store and asking for the link or through numerous emails sent out by the IT department.

Megan Michel, a sophomore business management major of Bentonville, said she used the link provided at the end of the email sent out by Darla Fletcher in order to download Windows 8.

I know the IT department said students were having problems with a broken link to the software at first, Michel said. I waited until they said the link was fixed before I tried to download it. It took longer to download than I expected, but youre getting a whole new system, pretty much.

Michel said she likes the new Windows software because the home screen is more like a tablet.

I enjoy the live tiles, she said. It makes getting to different applications a lot easier when you can put them into your live tiles, such as the webcam. I used to have to search and search for my webcam application, but now I can just open it off my live tile. Its a little bit more confusing at first, and Im still trying to figure out how to get to different things.

Students can find the link to the software downloads at or in their email from the IT department. They can also go to

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