Microsoft has begun a very unique marketing campaign aimed at students to help combat piracy and boost the sales revenue of Office 2007. The campaign, known as itsnotcheating aims to stop piracy among students by selling Office Ultimate 2007 at extremely low and affordable prices.
Selling for a price of only $75 Australian dollars for an unlimited license and $25 for a one year license, Microsoft is in effect offering a discount of 94% to students. Office Ultimate 2007 has a recommended retail price in Australia of $1175. The commencement of the offer also marks the first time that Microsoft is selling its software on a subscription-model, which we will no doubt see more of in the near future.
Those customers who purchased Office 20007 Home and Student Editions before the commencement of this offer have effectively wasted $174 and didn’t even receive Outlook. When this offer was approved by Microsoft it is highly likely that they knew they weren’t losing $1100 per copy. So if Microsoft can afford to sell Office Ultimate 2007 for only $75, how much is Office Ultimate 2007 really worth?
This offer has no doubt upset many of Microsoft’s retail partners. They have been left with no possible way to compete against a $75 Office Ultimate 2007, because Microsoft wholesales Home and Student Editions for more than that price. This is a serious blunder on Microsoft’s part as the retail partners are the ones who have spent thousands of dollars on advertising, promoting Home and Student Editions, only to lose their business to Microsoft themselves.
Microsoft has no doubt embarked in this marketing campaign out of complete desperation because of the large-scale piracy it endures, from within institutions like universities. High software prices have no doubt forced many students to seek alternatives to purchasing legitimate software. It remains to be seen if this marketing campaign will actually work by combating piracy and boosting Office 2007 sales.
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