Although you can get Adobe, Intuit, Shopify, and a bunch of other companies' software for discounted prices through your initial registration at TechSoup Canada, Microsoft is a bit different in that you have to fill out another application form.

What's special about Microsoft?

This seemed really odd to me until I looked at what you actually get from Microsoft. At the time of this post, there are over 140 heavily-discounted SKUs. Such as? Let's see:

  • Office 2013 Standard ($26) or Professional ($35)
  • Windows 8.1 Upgrade ($13) from
    • Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, or Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate
    • Windows XP Professional or Tablet PC
      Windows 2000 Professional
    • Windows NT Workstation 4.0
    • Windows 98 SE
  • Windows Server CAL ($3)
  • SQL Server 2012 Standard ($58)

It's kinda crazy. And I'm glad they added some extra restrictions to which organizations they give these discounts to compared to TechSoup Canada.

What are the restrictions?

To be honest, there's nothing surprising here. I'm not sure who exactly would be eligible for TechSoup Canada and not for this, but I would hope the list is is pretty small.

From the current page as of Oct 2013, a list of non-eligible organizations:

  • Governmental organizations or agencies.
  • Educational institutions, including K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and trade schools. (Education is already taken care of under a different Microsoft program)
  • Healthcare organizations and networks, including hospitals, specialty networks, ambulatory healthcare services, home healthcare and assisted living healthcare organizations, research organizations, and laboratories. (All for-profit businesses, I believe)
  • Political, labor, and fraternal organizations; commerce and trade associations without charitable aims or activities that benefit non-members; sponsorships of events, tables, exhibitions, or performances; fundraising events such as luncheons, dinners, walks, runs, or sports tournaments. (Self-explanatory)
  • Refurbishers that will be installing the donated software on refurbished computers to be distributed or donated to nonprofits or schools. Please visit the Registered Refurbisher Program. (Self-explanatory)
  • Nonpublic libraries, including private libraries, school libraries, specialty libraries, armed forces libraries, and libraries in government agencies. (Self-explanatory)
  • Organizations that engage in discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training or services, promotion, termination, and/or retirement based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status, other than as allowed by law, are not eligible to participate in this program. Organizations must be willing and able to attest that they do not discriminate on any of these grounds in order to receive donations. (Very Self-explanatory)

For more details, visit an Overview Of The Microsoft Donation Program.

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