This is the eligibility / license info for Office 2004. I would guess 2008 will be smilar. Eligibility *IMPORTANT NOTE:You can only purchase this product if you are a qualifying student, parent, guardian or teacher as described below. Please note that all software is for the educational use of the qualifying user and is not for any commercial use. Usage rights end as soon as the qualifying user ceases to be eligible through graduation or change of educational status. Eligibility for student licence Students: Full or part-time student aged five or over enrolled on a course that will deliver an academic qualification publicly recognised by the Department for Education & Skills (DfES) or the Irish Department of Education (DOE) Parents and guardians: Parents and guardians who have a child who is a qualifying student and wish to buy software for their child's educational use. Teachers: Full or part-time registered to teach in a school, college or educational establishment recognised by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the Irish Department of Education (DoE), or the Higher Education Authorities (HEAs).
However, when i bought the student adobe creative suite 3 from Amazon it took ages (over a week) to get the validation code. usually when i buy from the apple higher education store they use my uni ip address to validate?!
It seems Microsoft are doing much the same as with the Windows version. Office 2007 comes in a "Home and Student" edition, which can be installed on up to three computers. Previous versions, while described as "student" only required the purchaser to have a school-age child living at home, and AFAIK, there were no checks on this at all...
I've bought a copy of this - no you don't need to be a student at all, and it has a 3 user license which does not seem to have any restriction as to being in the same house etc. In fact my daughter has installed one copy and she lives 150 miles away - it seemed to me to be in the spirit of a family edition. Makes it quite good value for $140 - I don't mind paying when I don't feel I'm being ripped off