Is $60 too much for Microsoft Office?

I see that, according to InsideMicrosoft, Microsoft are offering Office 2007 Ultimate 2007 to students for $60!

According to the Microsoft press release the

limited-time promotion for college students starting today in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and starting Sept. 20 in Spain, Italy and France

No word on when, or indeed if, this promotion will be rolled out in Ireland.

Roping students in is potentially a clever tactic – the thinking being that they will get hooked on Office and remain loyal to it as a piece of software long after having left their studies. It costs Microsoft very little to do this as the cost to Microsoft of a copy of Office is essentially just the cost of the media (it is not clear if the $60 includes tax and shipping).

With credible, free alternatives like OpenOffice, Google Docs and Spreadsheets and Zoho office Microsoft really need to win hearts and minds.

Even if Microsoft succeed in getting students to buy-in to Office Ultimate, it is painless to leave Office because the alternatives are free! With that in mind, even $60 seems a lot to ask – Microsoft are going to have to change their business model eventually.

16 thoughts on “Is $60 too much for Microsoft Office?”

  1. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve found no open source mail client to come close to working as well as Outlook.

  2. Give me a call when Adobe start following suit. A student version of Photoshop and Illustrator would have gone down a treat a few years ago in college, I’d happily have forked out 60 bucks for it if it saved me hours hanging around college labs!

  3. Most students will find $60, given that the alternative is to get a dodgy copy (for free) from a friend.

    Think Irish Times had a piece on this , including photograph in the last couple of days (in relation to software for schools) – good PR for Microsoft but annoying as a taxpayer knowing that schools shouldn’t be paying anything and use OpenOffice instead.


  4. @Sean – absolutely!
    @Conor – I’m not keen on Outlook, I much prefer the clean simple interface on Apple’s Mail app
    @Ken – You never took advantage of Adobe’s Free Software for Schools program? All you need to apply for a license you need to need to submit on Feb 30th and be accompanied by your grandparents and their grandparents!
    @Paul – It is all about hearts and minds Paul! Get ’em when they are young and impressionable.

    To my mind it is, at best, a band-aid solution not long-term sustainable thinking.

  5. Don’t they already have the students ‘hearts and minds’ as microsoft office is packed onto every college and university computer?

    …and most of the students I know would happily save the money and get a dodgy copy…however cheap the official one was.

  6. TBH I don’t think it worth even bringing Google’s office apps into the discussion until they pass the remedial functionality stage. It’s like comparing rocket ships to pogo sticks.

    Personally, I think it would be far better for Microsoft to give away Visual Studio Professional for 60 bucks (or better yet for free) than Office to students.

    The Windows platform will be in serious trouble without a continuous influx of new developer blood and they’ve been losing hearts and minds on that front for a while now.

  7. Have you actually tried to run office 2007? It’s useless. The user interface is buggered. Everything is in the wrong place. The whole thing is slow unless you’ve got a lot of juice in the computer.

    I keep saying this, but the day of the traditional office app is coming to an end. Who wants a word processor to do printed documents? Most people coming to computers for the first time now are interested in doing research and putting togther online documents and emails and tracking online sources, not setting margins.

  8. @Conor: I actually hate Outlook, Thunderbird [not that great] but mostly Gmail interface for me, can get to it anywhere and it has everything I need!

  9. 60 Euros is a very fair price but the issue is I don’t have Office on my new computer or the ugly open Office or anything like that. Google Docs is far easier for me to use now.

  10. Blast it Microsoft! How do you expect us to sell Office 2007 Pro Plus at the formerly super-low price of $89 to college students now?! First you shoot yourselves in the foot, and now you’re shooting your retailers?!

    Maniacal complaints aside, it is a good deal, but it’s ultimately propaganda to force everyone else to upgrade as the massive world-wide student body will now be transferring files saved in Office 2007-only formats.

  11. Are you kidding? Great deal. None of the free offerigsg are even close. Dont take my word for it, red the reviews. Smart move by MSFT but a GREAT deal anyhow.

  12. Dude,

    That is a great price if you can still get it. I do have to agree with James above that they are shooting their retailers in the foot. I’m not sure who makes those decisions, but I’d like to meet them. 🙂



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