Microsoft and their digital river folks make the verification process VERY painful and time consuming - instead of waiting past the MONTH that I've been waiting I ended up buying the software
I jumped thru every hoop and obstacle to comply with the guidelines of the offer but they probably have one person who looks at the emails that everyone sends in so it takes months and months to get the software if you ever get it. For an organization as big as microsoft you'd think they'd want to make it an enjoyable experience.
I ended up getting a Corel product - at least they make their products reasonable and they don't post offers all over the internet just to collect information.
I didn't have a *.edu email address so I had to open a hotmail account - a gimmick by microsoft to gather marketing information about you. In my school alone I personally know of NO ONE that has tried to get this software that has successfully gotten it - I take classes at two different locations and everyone is just waiting and waiting...