Microsoft is encouraging piracy

I’m convinced that Microsoft UK is doing its utmost to encourage small businesses to use pirate copies of Microsoft Office 2007. Why else would they make it so difficult to buy legitimate licences?

All I want to know is how much will it cost me to licence to Microsoft Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007 and OneNote 2007 for five PCs.

The web site hints that an open licence might be the solution, but then directs me to find a local small business specialist. I don’t want to. We’ve already got a brilliant IT guy who does what we want. What “Speaking to a local small business specialist” really means is talking to a pushy salesman who’ll waste my time and try to sell me stuff and services I don’t want or need.

I just want to compare the cost of open licences to what it will cost me to upgrade the existing software, which is a bit of a mix:

 – a laptop with a legitimate Home and Student licence (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote), which is no longer being used at home so needs a business licence and licence for Outlook 2007

– a laptop with Office Professional 2003, which needs upgrading to 2007 but not Professional as we don’t need Access. It also needs OneNote. It has been running a 60 day trial of Professional 2007, which has just expired

– a laptop with an OEM trial version of Professional 2007 which will soon expire and need to become Standard plus OneNote and possibly Business Contact Manager

– a laptop running Office Small Business which just needs to be registered and OneNote added to it

– a desktop running an expired Office Standard 2007 trial and OneNote trial, both of which need to be registered

All I want to do is compare upgrade costs to an open licence. How hard can that be? Help, is anyone listening?