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?


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://marketingcentral.wordpress.com/ Jesper

    I am sure you've heard this before

    Use Openoffice (http://www.openoffice.org/)

    You will have to live without the Outlook and OneNote though, but you can't beat the price of free especially if does most of the stuffs MS office can do.

  • http://www.microsoft.com/uk/business/licensing/webcasts.mspx Ram Dhaliwal

    The questions you have posted about ‘how to buy’ are fair and we re-built the licensing website based upon this exact type of feedback from our customers.
    During the website development we carried out 4 months of research on what customers actually wanted regarding licensing information. This can be summarised in the following points; give us the basic information on what choices are available, point us to partners, resources and tools that are relevant to us as small or large businesses and provide clear next steps on where to get exact answers (rather than trawling through 20 pages of information and several sites).
    There are many choices available to our customers depending upon how they want to buy and use our software – we have content available on how they can license software in many scenarios i.e. you highlighted home and student, OEM , trial, upgrade, volume licensing and business software that spans across several areas of our business.
    We focussed on creating the most clear and direct path for customers to get an answer to their questions like yours – the end result being they can get the basic information from the website and then can contact Microsoft or a partner to get more complex questions answered and acquire the right software in best license programme for their needs.
    The end price is owned by our resellers from a fair and open competitive standpoint.
    If you (or any customer) ever feels uncomfortable about talking with a partner (because you manage IT in-house) then you should contact Microsoft in the first instance, Microsoft has trained licensing specialists available to help answer queries and then point you to a partner that will focus on selling the software you need rather than any additional IT solutions you don’t want.

    In addition we have created several webcasts for customers that want to learn more about Microsoft licensing (see included link) available on our business site – the intention is definitely not to make licensing a secret..!

    Ram Dhaliwal
    Microsoft UK Licensing Programmes Manager