The Microsoft Office 2007 rip-off


As some of you may know, I am a Contributing Editor with PC Pro Magazine in the UK, which is why I am able to reveal that according to figures ‘obtained’ by the publication Microsoft Office 2007 will officially be a rip-off. If you are buying in the UK that is.

While we, on this side of the pond, have long been used to getting the grubby end of the stick when it comes to IT product pricing, this one really takes the biscuit. Just as nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition, so nobody in the IT game over here expects to find their purchases costing the equivalent of the dollar price, based upon a straight exchange rate conversion. The business world does not work like that, and there will always be different overheads to take into account when selling into different international markets.

However, explain to me if you will, or indeed if you can, why it appears that UK users will have to pay a staggering 72 percent more than US users for Office 2007 Professional Edition? The suggested retail pricing of which, PC Pro has discovered from confidential Microsoft figures, is a phenomenal £449.99. Of course, these figures were never meant for public consumption prior to launch, and with the Ultimate version priced at £600 (62 percent more expensive), Small Business at £399.99 (69 percent hike) and Standard at £349.99 (67 percent more) you can understand why.

According to PC Pro, Microsoft have commented on the pricing by claiming that it estimates UK retail prices based on discussions with retail partners who “discuss with us what they would like to charge for it.” Well, no surprise that they would like to charge as much as they can, thank you very much Mr. Microsoft sir, then. “We have an analyst who works the range of prices out and takes an average" is the Microsoft response. Oh, well, that is OK then.

In fact, the pricing is not Microsoft’s fault at all, so they insist. The comment that got the biggest belly laugh, and simultaneous sigh, from me had to be “It's up to our partners to set the pricing. We're not allowed to fix prices - that would be illegal."

Of course, the reality is that some retailers will discount these prices in order to gain volume sales. However, the underlying reality is that, yet again, UK buyers are getting right royally ripped off.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

jwenting 1,649 duckman Team Colleague

"However, explain to me if you will, or indeed if you can, why it appears that UK users will have to pay a staggering 72 percent more than US users for Office 2007 Professional Edition? "

So? That's the case with pretty much ALL software in the UK (and Europe in general).
Software costing $100 in the US will cost 100 pounds at least in the UK, and €100 or more on the continent.

That's been the case for years, maybe decades, and hardly new or limited to Microsoft.

Blame our governments for taxing businesses to death while plundering consumers with extortionate VAT rates.

happygeek 2,411 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

Not the case with all software at all, and the Internet has changed things to some degree so that people can download software at similar prices in many cases.

The smaller vendors are starting to see sense, knowing that the consumer is growing ever more informed about the global economy and simply will not stand for such differentials much longer. It seems the big guys have not.

The fact remains, that paying 72% more for the same software is a scandal, pure and simple.

Junyah 24 Posting Whiz in Training

Bummahs! I can understand why ur pissed off. That's why the last versions I purchased was 2004 Office Student/Teacher for the Mac and the Student/Teacher version for the PC .. Even with the discounts its geting to expensive going with microsoft. I've been testing NeoOffice and Open Office programs and I like them ... they read and write microsoft files and the students don't mind using the software.

With the budget cuts ... I switched more that half or my resource centers computers over to Linux. This way the kids can learn and use the computers an not be so reliant on microsoft products. The kid's seem to use the Macs and Linux computers more anyway.

We can't afford to buy Vista or Microsoft Office 2007.

Chaky 191 Posting Virtuoso

In fact, the pricing is not Microsoft’s fault at all, so they insist.
“It's up to our partners to set the pricing. We're not allowed to fix prices - that would be illegal."

How innocent....
They must be wondering where did 50% of the wealth they collected came from.

Somebody else's fault.... that's a good one.

freesoft_2000 9 Practically a Master Poster

Hi everyone,

Wait for my version of the Office 2007, it'll be dirt cheap and be a clone but the best part it'll be written in pure 100% JAVA thus making it multi platform.

The launch date is less than a couple of months from now. Lets see how microsoft likes a dirt cheap multiplatform office 2007 clone, it'll really be fun :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :cheesy:

Richard West

jwenting 1,649 duckman Team Colleague

Richard, that already exists. It's called OpenOffice and doesn't make much of a dent...

jbennet 1,618 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

this is gonna ruin students

Nearly all students need access which was not a part of office 2003 student edition. I however, was lucky enough to get 2003 student ed. for £90 and send away for access for 35 euros

Most students will never be able to afford office 2007

blud 82 Linux Reject Moderator

That is where you are wrong, most major universities, or school districts, get office licenses for pennies on the dollar. A Full version of Office 2003 right now, would cost a student of University of Texas, less than $100. I'm sure 2007 won't be any more expensive.

freesoft_2000 9 Practically a Master Poster

Hi everyone,

Actually Jwenting, you're wrong. If you dvelve into open office's codes you will find header files and other related C/C++ codings. So actually something that is purely multi platform or written in pure 100% JAVA never existed except some program called V or something(can't really remember the actual name) which they came very close but abandoned the project because it took too much time and money.

Also correct me if i am wrong, but open office only has a word processor and a spread sheet, but the one we have is everything to an access clone, front page clone, processor clone presentation clone and you know the rest better than me, but i guess only the future holds the answer if we will do well.

For me i really pity those third world country students who are trying to give themselves a better life because seriously 100 British Sterling is quite princely for these guys.

Richard West

dan9628 0 Newbie Poster

Hi Everyone ! Sorry to here you are getting ripped off. If enough people express an interest then I would be happy to buy fully licensed LEGAL software herein Canada for you and ship it COD or otherwise. The catch is that I would have to charge you shipping & insurance from Canada (about 20 pounds sterling) , plus some profit for my time and effort - (about 20 pounds sterling) it should still be less than what you would pay over there !!
the ball is in your court now - cheers, dan

maksimus2000 0 Newbie Poster
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