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Adobe and Microsoft downloads for all Berkeley students

All registered Berkeley students and newly admitted students who have stated their intent to register at Berkeley may download Adobe's Creative Suite 6 (the latest) and Microsoft products, including MS Office and an operating system upgrade to Windows 8.








In 2010-2011 the Operational Excellence (OE) Information Technology (IT) team proposed including students in the negotiations for popular software.  The STC was actively involved in making this recommendation, with the understanding that long-term funding was going to be necessary and a student technology fee might be needed to support this kind of access.  This software is being bundled for the campus in what is called "the Productivity Suite."

The Productivity Suite

The Productivity Suite includes the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office Suite and an upgrade to the latest Windows operating system (currently Windows 8), and Google Apps for Education, dubbed bConnected on our campus, which includes calendar, email, and file-storage and sharing tools. The first tools, Adobe Creative Suite, were made available in August 2011.  In January 2012, the Microsoft Office Suite, the latest Microsoft operating system for PCs, and Microsoft Server became available for download. The upgrade to Windows 8 became available October 29, 2012.  The Google Apps for Education, bConnected, started to be rolled out to students in mid-October 2012.

As software licenses are negotiated with vendors and made available, they will be noted here.  The STC will also provide information on accessing and using the tools, with lead stories on the STC Home page and on this page.

bConnected software is available for all Berkeley students in academic years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014.  Funding is provided via a zero interest loan that has been taken from the Office of the President as part of the overall OE effort as well as funds from the Office of the CIO.  In addition, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Services Fees (CACSSF), which includes student membership from the Graduate Assembly, ASUC, and the Committee on Student Fees approved, in spring 2013, funds for academic year 2013-2014.  These funds covered only about 30% of the cost of the program..The expectation is that the Office of the CCIO will augment these funds.  There is no funding after 2013-2014, so student leadership will have to decide if this software is useful and whether they want to propose that students pay, in the form of a campus technology fee, for these software products.  If so, there would be a student fee referendum in April 2014.

For more information, read the FAQs below.  If you have questions, please email the STC at[at]


Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) is available at no cost for students to download.  The Suite includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, FlashProfessional, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks.

If you already have CS5, you do not have to deactivate or uninstall it.  CS6 will not overwrite CS5; instead, CS6 will load separately.

Current students who are also active Berkeley campus employees in any job title:  You are eligible for the expanded Master Collection and will see it as your download option. 

Each student is eligible to use two licenses, e.g., one for a laptop and one for a desktop.

Download and install the software

This is very important.  You will save yourself time and sleepless nights, even heartache, by following these instructions precisely.

For help with:

If you think that the software available in the Master Collection would be helpful in one of your courses (and is not available to you because you are not also an active campus emplyee), discuss this with your professor.  There are Master Collection licenses available for students, but only through enrollment in a designated course.  The Deans were all asked to provide a list of courses that would find the Master Collection helpful.  Your course may have been left off.


There are many on-line resources available on the Adobe website.  Start with these two:

For more information

Go to IST's Adobe downloads page and then scroll about halfway down for information for students.

The Adobe Creative Suite is just one component of a planned, Operational Excellence (OE)-approved effort.  OE funded this effort for the first year; student fees and the IT Bank in the Office of the CIO, for the second year.  For more information about on-going funding, including a potential Student Technology Fee, go to the FAQs below.

Adobe FAQs

I tried downloading the Adobe software, but it was taking a long time and the download didn't complete.  What do I do?
Here are four suggestions, in order:

I downloaded Adobe on a PC, but then I got a new Mac.  What do I do to get Adobe on my Mac?
It's necessary to deactivate your Adobe software on your old computer before you can reactivate it on your new computer. Uninstalling the software from a computer does not automatically deactivate it.

Then you can install the Adobe software on your new computer and use your serial number to activate it. You can find the serial number issued to you at

Does the Adobe software expire upon graduation or does the license we receive when downloading it allow us to use the software indefinitely?
Your Adobe license expires when you graduate or withdraw from the University.  However, your license will not be automatically revoked, i.e., taken away from the machine that you installed it on.

How many Adobe licenses may I use?
Each student receives two licenses.

I just became a student employee and so am now eligible to download the Master Collection.  What do I do?
You need to make sure that you are active in the HR system first.  Ask your supervisor or the HR person at your workplace.

Once you know that you’re in the HR system, go to to check for your serial number for the Master Collection.  You should then be able to download the Master Collection – you don’t have to uninstall the Creative Suite.  However, if you have problems, deactivate the Creative Suite.

Then start the download and install process for the Master Collection.

My Adobe says it is about to expire even though I entered in the product key for that. Is there any way to check if I did it wrong? I don't want it to expire and then not let me download it again.
To make sure you don't have a license issue, email

email and calender solution -- bMail and bCal

For more information, please visit the bConnected website.

Students will be able to download one copy of the following products and may keep the software perpetually upon graduation.  If you withdraw from the University, you must uninstall the software.

Download and install the software

UC Berkeley and Microsoft have partnered with eAcademy as our fulfillment partner. You will be redirected to their website for your downloads.

Note:  You may only download the installation file once, and you have 31 days from the time your order is processed to access your Product Key.

This is very important.  You will save yourself time and sleepless nights, even heartache, by following these instructions precisely.

In case your computer crashes and you have to reinstall or you get a new computer:

For help with:

For more information

Go to IST's Microsoft Productivity Suite page.

The Microsoft products are just one component of a planned, Operational Excellence (OE)-approved effort.  OE is funding this effort for this year.  For more information about on-going funding, including a potential Student Technology Fee, go to the FAQs below.

Microsoft FAQs


When I log in to download the new Microsoft products offered, I get the message, "No Products Available for Purchase At This Time."  What should I do?
Are you registered?  Only registered students can download software.

I'm studying abroad this semester, but I'm a Berkeley student.  Can I download the software?
Students on the University of California's Education Abroad Program (EAP) are registered students and are eligible to download the software.  Students studying abroad on non-UC programs are not registered and therefore are not eligible. See Berkeley Study Abroad for more information.

I just graduated.  Can I download the software?
Congratulations on graduating!  That's the good news.  The not-so-good news is that you cannot download the software because you are no longer registered.  The terms of the contract require that students be registered.

License information

Does the Microsoft software expire upon graduation or does the license we receive when downloading it allow us to use the software indefinitely?
Your Microsoft license is a perpetual license and does not expire when you graduate.  However, if you withdraw from the University before graduating, you must uninstall the software.

How many Microsoft licenses may I use?
Each student may use the Microsoft licenses on one device, i.e., one license for the Office Suite and one license for the OS upgrade (if you have a Windows machine).

Will we have access to these new versions of Windows and Office after they are released?  And if so, since each student is only allowed to download one copy, should I wait until the new versions come out later to use my one download so I can get the most up-to-date software?
When new releases come out, they'll be available to you.

Downloading and installing

I tried downloading the Microsoft software, but it was taking a long time and the download didn't complete.  What do I do?
Here are three suggestions, in order:

I operate from two computers (only one is really portable) and it is obviously advantageous for them to operate the same software. Does the Microsoft Office option allow installation on more than one computer?
No, you can only use one license for the Microsoft products.

Following the download instructions provided for Microsoft Office for Mac, I get into a redirect loop on the site after login in and choosing my university.  What do I do?
Try emptying your cache or using a different browser. 

I have tried downloading BOTH x86 and x64 versions of office 2010 pro plus on my laptop.  ALL TWO of these lovely massive downloads have resulted in a seemingly corrupt file despite the download manager: after extracting the files, in both cases the resulting setup.exe file is corrupt, producing the "Setup.exe is an invalid Win32 application" error.  Any ideas on how I can download a working copy of this app before our product keys expire?
The asker solves his own problem:  "As it turns out, the "Secure Download Manager" was doing the actual downloading, whether "secure" or not (https?), through chrome, my default browser.  The problem was that Chrome is glitchy downloading files that slow/long to download, particularly over WLAN -- the last 1% sometimes get lopped off, hangs indefinitely on virus scan, etc.  I disabled wireless, plugged into my router with a long ethernet cable, started over, and the problems went away... "

I can't find my product key.  How can I find it?
Follow the instructions again.  The product key is at Step 9.  Dont' lose it! 

I just got an email with the heading "Access to your download and/or key expires."  Then the message says that I can extend my coverage for 24 months for "just $4.95." I thought I had the Microsoft software in perpetuity.  What's up?
You're right -- you DO have access for free as long as you're a Berkeley student AND you can continue to use it in perpetuity (forever).  In this case, eAcademy is telling you that they will make available your product key for 31 days and then will archive it so that you won't be able to get it unless you pay $4.95.  What you should do is make sure you have saved the product key so that you can access it if you need to.  And then you can delete this message.

Windows 8 Operating System (OS)

How does the Operating System (OS) software work?
The OS license is for an upgrade only, so you must have a Microsoft Windows OS that needs upgrading already on your computer. 
For more information about downloading and installing Windows 8, go to IST's FAQ on this topic.

Can I just download Windows 8 and install it to upgrade my Vista? Or do I need to start from scratch?
You can just download it since it’s an upgrade.  You won’t be starting from scratch.

I want to download and install Windows 8.  Is there a webpage that explains this?
When you select Windows 7, you will see information about downloading and installing. You can also go to IST's FAQ on this topic.

Should I uninstall my old operating system before installing this operating system with the perpetual license? 
You do not have to uninstall your old operating system before installing the updated one. 

I am planning on wiping my hard drive for another reason. I read that an OS must already be installed to upgrade to Windows 7. Does this mean that after wiping my hard drive I will have to install my older Windows Vista before following the instructions to download Windows 8?
Yes, you will have to reinstall Vista, then upgrade to Windows 8.

I recently upgraded to Windows 8 Professional via the Microsoft software agreement. However, it seems like Windows 7 Professional does not support installing other language packs (like Chinese, for example), so I am unable to view foreign characters in this version. Do you have a workaround or suggestions?
Windows 8 is available on the site in English, French, and Spanish.  For Chinese (either simplified or traditional characters), please contact eAcademy, 1-888-396-1447.

Mac users

Which Microsoft products are offered for Mac users?
For Mac users, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are included. For a full list of what's available for Mac users, go to

General FAQs

Software availability

When do these license agreements end?  I have not decided yet about which computer to buy a PC or a Mac.
Currently, the software is available for three academic years, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-2014.

Open source vs. commercial software

Why aren't we using open source software instead of spending so much on commercial software?
The initial product selection is based on the current volume and breadth of use, but all products in a given space will be evaluated for future inclusion. Open source alternatives will be given consideration if they are widely used or demanded and meet institutional security and accessibility requirements.

Other software

Will MATLAB be included as part of the PS?
Although not part of the PS, a campus site license for MATLAB for faculty and staff was recently negotiated in December 2012.  At this time, the license has not been extended to students for use on their personal computers.  However, students may download MatLab on University-owned machines. 

MATLAB is installed in our general access computer labs in Room 211 Wheeler Hall and on the first floor of Moffitt Library.  All students with a valid CalNet ID are able to log in and use these machines. 

Are there any other more specialized, but used widely by certain parts of the campus, software in the pipeline?
A campus site license has also been negotiated for MATEMATICA
-- again not as part of the PS.  If there is other software that you feel should be reviewed to see whether a site license would benefit the campus, please email the STC at[at]

Paying for the PS software

Are student fees being used to pay for this software?
No student fees were used to pay for this software for the first year.
  For the second year, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees (CACSSF), a committee made up of student leadership from the Graduate Assembly, the ASUC, and the Committee on Student Fees as well as administrators from Student Affairs, voted to allocate $285,000 of the approxiately $985,000 needed for 2012-13.  The remainder came from the IT Bank, which is managed by the Office of the CIO.  Funding for 2013-14 has yet to be determined, but the software will continue to be offered.  In subsequent years, students will have to decide if the software is valuable enough to them to pay for through a student technology fee (STF).  Keep reading for more information about a possible STF

Student Technology Fee (STF)

What is the Student Technology Fee (STF) and whose idea was it?
A Student Technology Fee (STF) was identified during the OE IT Design Initiative process as a means by which students could participate in some of the campus-wide purchases of technology that are resulting in extremely aggressive discounts for software and technology products.  The OE IT Design Initiative Team included representatives from across campus and the STC.  The STC formally recommended that opportunities for student participation in software licensing be included as an economy of scale, and also acknowledged that an STF might have to be considered in the future to support these efforts.

How much will the STF cost?
The total amount of the possible STF has not been determined at this time because the campus is still putting into place all of the software that will together comprise a Productivity Suite (PS) for the campus.  But any STF will be composed of costs that provide 100% benefit directly to students.  It will also include the required 33% return-to-aid.

When will it be voted on?
The original plan was to have negotiations completed for PS products by fall 2011 so students could vote in spring 2012.  However, negotiations have not been completed as quickly as hoped to provide the full PS to the campus and to be in compliance with required Student Fee Referenda timelines, so we have a delay.  This delay supports students having full access to the products before the vote so they will have had sufficient time to complete an evaluation of the benefits of using the tools.

What can the STF be spent on and who decides?
Think of the possible STF as a "shopping basket" for the technology that students want and need.  The governance model, if the students vote for the STF, would follow a process similar to those used by other student-initiated fees, e.g., TGIF and Lower Sproul (the B.E.A.R.S Initiative), where representative students, including those from the ASUC and Graduate Assembly (GA), would evaluate annually what to keep in the shopping basket for student use, and what to plan on removing and replacing with something new.  The pace of technology change requires that approach.

The students would have full responsibility to make decisions on the product and service mix included.  It is possible, as with TGIF and Lower Sproul, that there would be some administration representatives in the STF governance group.  Since the STF would be a student-initiated fee referendum, again, if it passes, it would be up to student-elected leadership to determine the actual representative participants.

How would products be picked for inclusion in the STF?
Initially the products and services included in the PS have been based on an analysis of technology purchasing on campus as well as at the campus bookstore and from local retailers to determine which were the most popular products and which we could achieve the greatest discounts on.  Adobe and Microsoft were both identified as having very high use and were high cost under our old purchasing model.  In addition, the STC made recommendations based on a survey they did in fall 2010 in the ResHalls.  The presidents of both the ASUC and the GA have also been involved and supportive. 

Students are encouraged to provide suggestions for inclusion by emailing us (the STC) at[at]  Alternatively, you can contact the ASUC and the GA.  The STC is working closely with the ASUC and the GA as well as with the Committee on Student Fees (CSF).  All feedback and suggestions are welcome!

Would we be able to vote on just some products and not others?
No, the STF would be an up-or-down vote that would include the agreed-upon package of software and services.  Individual a la carte selections or individual purchases are not possible at these prices.

Who is paying for the products until the students possibly vote on the STF in spring 2013?
The seed funding is coming from OE as part of an overall loan the campus took out to pay for efficiency projects.  Student fees are not part of this funding at all.  For 2011-2012, the funds were included in the PS project proposal.  The PS software for students at no cost to the students will continue through academic year 2012-2013.

How much is it costing?
The total cost for the student portion of the entire PS program for 2011-2012 will depend on the product mix ultimately purchased.  Adobe costs are approxiately $500,000 for everyone on campus.  To put this in perspective, however, the current retail costs, with the educational discount, of Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium is around $500 each, while the fuller version, the Master Collection, costs around $900 each.  Many more people on campus are using these Adobe products than have in the past because of this opportunity.  In the first eight weeks of the program, there were approximately 12,000 student downloads.

Contact us

Please email the STC at[at] if you have more questions.

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