Is It A Steal Or Did They Blink?


Microsoft (MSFT) today announced “The Ultimate Steal” deal for Microsoft Office 2007 that gives students a chance to buy Microsoft Office 2007 for $60, a deep discount of 91%. (In comparison Microsoft Office for Mac costs $150 for Student and Teachers Edition.)

This might be small price to pay for the company since it is ensuring that people continue to use its productivity suite. But is it too late? Paul Stamatiou writes:

Granted most of my classmates pirated Office 2007, use Google Docs or use OpenOffice, had Office 2007 been priced under $100, things would have been much different.

I wonder what the students think about this offer – that should be more telling. On a different tangent, will this discounting prompt other customers to ask for deep price cuts as well? If that happens, then it could put Microsoft’s cash cow on a crash diet, giving Office wannabes a chance to gloat.

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan sums it up best when he writes: god bless competition.



Mac MS Office sells for $99 AR currently and depending on the school, I have seen bundling/licensing deals for students as low as $5 (on campus IT – no disc).

Stephen Rees

I use Open Office

It does all I want it to and can export in formats that M$ slaves can recognize and use.

I cannot now imagine paying anything for an office suite now


Does Microsoft have certain licensing deals with various universities? I remember as a UTexas student, we were able to purchase the MS Office Pro for like $20 maybe (or some other ridiculously low price). I still have the install disks (2003 edition) and put the program on a new computer recently without any problems (I’m no longer a student btw, having graduated).

Scott Kingery

You need a .edu email address. This is a kind of bad in a way. I know people at community colleges that pull heavy course loads but the school doesn’t provide and email address. Unless I missed something, these folks are SOL on this offer.

Om Malik

Interesting comments – different as well. I think from my perspective, i still have office xp and keep using it and see no reason to upgrade. i am not a power user and need powerpoint, excel and word and of those maybe use like 5% of the features.

Microsoft should offer Office Lite to us laggards who refuse to upgrade. it is a better option than pushing that shit that call Microsoft Works.

My two cents. I love collaboration features of Google Docs, but hate working in a browser. Too many lost documents and connections.


Sure, we might use Google Docs because we’re tech savvy, but you really think that your average college student is going to bust out GDocs for assignments? Probably not.

$60 is a steal for Office 2007. But again, you’re not thinking long term. If I got Office pretty cheaply in University and used it for all 4 years, I’m going to be ingrained in the Microsoft ecosystem, so I’ll be hooked on MS Office products. So, when you’re assimilated into the working world, well, you know how this goes.

All this talk about WGA is a bunch of crap. Seriously. OMG MICROSOFT IS SPYING ON US! What a bunch of nonsense.


The vast majority of students get Internet access via their school’s network/WiFi, so Google Docs is a given. Remember the other day when Microsoft put out that big FUD press release as to why you shouldn’t use Google Docs? And now this? Yes they blinked.

No student is going fall for this trick to install Office locally, since its just a ploy to get the “Genuine Advantage” spyware on your machine.


I have been using Open Office for last 3 yrs on my personal laptop and desktop, and I think its more than good enough for my personal use. Since at work we use alot of Excel files with advanced macros and some other stuff that is not available in Open Office, use of Microdoft Office there is unavoidable


Its not free, therefore Zoho will still be the best choice for me. Its free!

I think they are a few years too late and still dont get it!

Online Market research company

Has any body tried Open-Office from SUN — not bad product and could easily substitute to basic and intermediate office features and now SUN has also shacked hand with IBM to take this product to another step.

Arjun Dutt

It was supposed to be available at 1pm PDT, and then it got pushed to 4pm, and now its gone to 10am on September 13 … looks like they are not yet ready to release it.


I’ve long thought that the really secret to Microsoft’s perpetual de facto monopolies in the OS and Office Productivity (or Off-Prod) markets is the fact that they can, in fact, “compete with free”.

Goo-Docs has some neat collaboration features, but is still far from being anything but a basic, no-frills solution. OpenOffice is OK, but it’s certainly years behind what you get with Office. Most people don’t need the full functionality of Office, but if the price is right, why not pick it up? To slow adoption of either solution, Microsoft can alway reduce prices. Since they’re selling something that’s infinitely reproducible at no cost, why not charge less to protect your marketshare?

How much damage to Microsoft’s bottom line can MSFT take? Does it matter? Microsoft has been ridiculously profitable with little movement in their stock price, relative to the market, for years. Apple had huge jump in market cap in the last year, but if you look at whose making more money, it’s just nonsense.

Sure, Apple’s growing, and Linux is growing, too. Neither is a credible threat to Microsoft. Businesses will never take Apple seriously as a supplier of desktop computers for a host of reasons too numerous to mention here. Linux has a shot in that space but, do they? Really?

Windows still sells because, given the 3rd party software ecosystem around it, it’s best-in-the-business hardware support (choice of hardware, availability of drivers), why would would people not use it? Can anyone really make a case that Windows isn’t worth the $50-100 that a license costs? Even Mac users ran out to buy Intel Macs, many specifically so they could dual-boot (or virtualize) Windows.

The free option, Linux? Commercially-supported Linux distros, like Xandros and Red Hat, cost every bit as much as Windows. The actually-free distros, most notably Ubuntu, are shoddy with hardware support, don’t support the commercial apps that people want/need (probably most notably, Photoshop and games), and requires hours of setup and configuration, frequently through an arcane console window.

As Linux becomes a more-viable option, Microsoft can always drop their prices as much as necessary to ensure that it retains it’s value in time-savings and functionality versus Linux. The billions of dollars that MSFT keeps in cash means that they can do whatever they want, absorb whatever costs necessary, in the effort to make a market. Look what they did with their gaming division.

So, yeah, I totally agree, competition is great. I love lower prices. Just don’t for a second believe that competition and lower prices will ever mean a practical end to Microsoft’s dominance.

Raymond Padilla

I’m still using an OEM version of Office 2000. I bought a $19.99 wireless keyboard (that I don’t use) to get the disc. Now I’m going to find some student friend to order this for me. This is pretty much the only way I’d pay for Office (barring it being packaged with a $19.99 keyboard).

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