Microsoft extends cheap offer for students


We suspect the lurking threat of OpenOffice is as big a motivation as educational altruism, but Microsoft has decided to extend “indefinitely” the It’s Not Cheating scheme, which lets students and staff registered at a tertiary institution in Australia (and with an email address to prove it) purchase a heavily discounted copy of Office 2007. How discounted? Think $75 for a full copy. (There’s also an option to pay $25 for 12 months access, but that sounds stupidly fiddly to us.) Check the narky fine print to see if you’re eligible.


  • $75 for a poor student is pretty rich considering that MS give employees of some of their large corporate customers get it for free (well, $37 for postage) in the Home Use Program. Of course that increases the stickiness of office over oo but still its unfair I reckon for students!

  • I think paying $75 for a $1000+ suite of software is a damn good deal for students.

    If you want to take advantage of all the features MS Office Ultimate offers, it beats OO hands down, every time.

    For $75 you can’t go wrong.

  • Its obvious that Microsoft wants to curb the tide of open source adoption in Australia. This is especially true in regards to alternatives to MS solutions. OpenOffice is a potential competitor to their MS Office. (while not a direct 1-to-1 replacement in every way, it covers features that most people use).

    Discounting their software licenses for Education markets is a deliberate move in order to secure future streams of income.

    The point is to get the young audience of users hooked on MS products as soon as possible. As they grow older, everybody knows its harder to adapt to new things and break old habits. (essentially, you want to exploit this known human behaviour to your advantage.)

    I dubbed this the: “Get them while they’re young” program. (Just talk to admins at Universities. MS discounts their licenses to the point of virtually giving it away, if they find out alternative solutions are being considered.)

    It doesn’t just apply to Office suites here in Australia. It also applies in Europe, where they severely discounted their development tools for university students as a direct response to the low adoption rate of their solutions. (many have adopted open source solutions instead).

    Considering MS recently announced they’re “supporting ODF”, I don’t see why I need to bother paying for MS Office. OpenOffice, Abiword, Gnumeric, IBM’s Lotus Symphony, etc does me fine.


    * Multi-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, etc)

    * No anti-piracy measures implement (Things like “activation” or “genuine advantage” nonsense).

    * Free ($0)


    * Legal (no pirating!)

  • WEBSTA91,

    Paying $75 for something worth $1000 is a good deal. Paying $75 for something worth $0 is a terrible deal. Paying $1000 for something worth $0 is utter stupidity.

    So I’ll pay $0.

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