$59 Office 07 launches in US, relaunch in AU soon

The Ultimate StealSix months ago, Microsoft Australia trialled an unique approach to combat piracy amongst students called “It’s Not Cheating“. The program has since been hailed a success with today’s announcement of similar programs, “The Ultimate Steal“, in Canada, United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and Spain.

It’s not cheatingIn fact, the original program was such as a success they even decided to keep the ‘cheating/stealing’ connotation, the corny stock photo that makes it look like a scam, but best of all, the ridiculously low price of US$59.95.

Beginning today, students around the world with an eligible university email address can purchase one copy of Office 2007 Ultimate edition at a discount of over 90% retail price. Alternatively students outside the US can even purchase a yearly-subscription for an even lower price if they’re feeling cheap. This is a limited offer until April 30, 2008 so don’t hold it off. However to minimize cost, users will have to download a considerably large file from the website to install.

Office Ultimate 2007The reason Microsoft is doing this is simply discouraging a generation of young students growing up to be the most pervasive software pirates of tomorrow. If you can buy legit software for the same cost and effort you’re going to spend finding a torrent, downloading that torrent, burning a CD, finding serial numbers and cracks then finally installing it – not to suggest I’ve ever done such things – then it’s more attractive to buy legitimate and hopefully stay legitimate. You could also argue Office suddenly becomes a much better contender the free Office-alternatives like OpenOffice, but I would have said Office 2007 was already years ahead functionality-wise.

Australian students might feel a little cheated (no pun intended) from the latest offer since it’s not available in Australia, but I have good news. The offer is expected to return to Australia next month, mid October, under the same “It’s Not Cheating” program. My guess is the price will remain at the original AU$75.

11 insightful thoughts

  1. Woah… it’s available in the UK too! Finally.

    I’m confused though… It’s the 12/09 today, but it says that it’s not available until 12/09.

  2. It’s great that Microsoft are finally offering something like this, £300 for an office suite is too much to pay so it is good that Microsoft have seen this and are doing something about it. I already have it but if I didn’t then I would definitely have brought it through this scheme. Plus I’m a Linux user so I use Open Office.

  3. It’s like legal pirating! Sweet.

    I got in on the PowerTogether offer last year on luck alone, but I’m not about to pass up getting in on this. I already sent the link to all my fraternity and campus group members. This is fantastic especially considering the fact that not every lab on campus even has Office 2007, but I’ve been using it since the beta and its annoying when your group members can’t open your files.

    Way to go Microsoft…no only if Adobe would follow suit and let go of my wallet on that Master Collection…hmmm.

  4. I got Office 2003 or whatever years ago for about $100. $40 more, but it was still a big discount. I think their student prices have been good for quite awhile. Obviously this is much better though.

  5. I don’t know of any ‘student’ in their right mind anyway who would pay US $699 for Office 2007 Ultimate, so this is probably the best way to get them to buy it. If you can’t get them to buy the FPP, at least you will have a chance with say the upgrade pricing for Office 14 Ultimate when that comes out. Hey, it worked on me, I bought Office 97 Professional (FPP), Office 2000 Premium (Upgrade), Office XP Professional (Upgrade), got Office ’03 Pro free and bought Office Home and Student which comes with 3 household licenses.

    This is definitely a great opportunity to achieve more users too, especially with the new Office Fluent which everybody seems just love, this will certainly create some new allegiances amongst the MS Office fold for years to come.

  6. What happens if you already have Expression Web installed and then you install Office Ultimate with Microsoft SharePoint Designer? Does SharePoint Designer overwrite Expression?

    The two programs look almost identical.

    @Andre Da Costa:
    If you think US $699 is a lot for a student to pay, Microsoft Office Ultimate in the UK costs £599. That’s US $1216.57.

  7. Michael, SharePoint Designer is not included in any of the Office 2007 Suites. The last suite that bundled FrontPage (SharePoint Designer is FP’s successor)was Office 2000 Premium. There was a FrontPage 2002 bundle with a Special Edition of Office XP for a limited time, but it was included on a separate CD, but there was also a corporate SKU that included it called Office XP Professional with FrontPage. Expression Web and SharePoint Designer should co-exist just fine. SPD works best with SharePoint Team sites while Expression Web is more targetted at standalone web designers (aka Adobe Dreamweaver).

    As for the UK pricing, you call £599 expensive? Get ready for Jamaican pricing for Office 2007 Ultimate:

    US $1 equals Jamaican $70

    Multiply $70 Jamaican dollars by US $699 which would equal Jamaican $48,930 for Office 2007 Ultimate. Thats why anyone who buys Office here legitimately often opts for the Student SKU or Pro OEM.

  8. “Woah… it’s available in the UK too! Finally.

    I’m confused though… It’s the 12/09 today, but it says that it’s not available until 12/09.”

    It’s a silly americanised date, i.e. MM/DD/YYYY. So it means December 9th, *not* September 12th.

    Why they do that I have no idea – it makes no sense. Probably because some silly American in power proposed it and it stuck.

  9. Microsoft is showing an unusual amount of savvy here. I’ll tell you for an absolute fact that the most prolific pirates are students. They NEED to use the software in order to develop the skills that will be in demand in the workforce, and that doesn’t mean “student” versions … you need to be using the exact same software.

    That means that since they can’t afford to buy a $700 software suite, they have little choice but to pirate the software, if only to better their exposure. $69, on the other hand, is way to good to pass up. Absolutely brilliant move.

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