I love Microsoft Office, at least for the fact of the many functions it can do. Office 07′ really beats all though. Best UI update I’ve seen in a long time, so easy to use, and making things look nice is as easy as pie. The MS Office site has a ton of helpful tutorials, free downloads (like ClipArt, templates, etc.), trial versions, and a ton of helpful things. It’s just so nice.
However, it comes with a premium – you have to pay a whole LOT to have an MS Office suite. Even standalone MS Office products cost a whole lot. That’s where MS Office’s major fault lies. It’s just way too expensive for a piece of software today.
Most (average users) people, don’t really use an Office program very often. That’s true. I know I only use Word 03′ for a few class projects, and a few of my own individual things to store info. I use Access to make a database of a few things. Excel – never used. PowerPoint – never used. So overall, the whole suite doesn’t benefit me much, enough to warrant such a high price for Office.
Here’s a look at some of the ridiculous "retail" prices for Office programs/suites:
OneNote 07′ : $99.95 (about a little more than $10 above iWork 08′!)
Office Ultimate 07′ : $679.95 (cost of a cheap computer!) – 10 programs
Office Home & Student 07′ : $149.95 (mainly for ‘us’ average users) – 4 programs
Office Standard 07′ : $399.95 (same # of programs as Home & Student, but has Outlook instead of OneNote, but costs $250 more!) – 4 programs.
Word 07′ : $229.99 (isn’t that so expensive?)
That’s just some of these crazy prices and crazy plans. Here’s their site I got it from.
There are ways to get Office cheaper.
Like if you already have an old version of Office, and was interested in upgrading, the upgrade cost is smaller than the brand new retail cost. Sometimes even more than a $100 less.
If you’re a college student, you can have a ton of access to Office with student discounts. There’s also this promotion called "The Ultimate Steal" where you can sign-in with your @edu account and pay only $60 for the whole Office Ultimate 07′ suite. (That’s a $620 discount!!!). So that’s pretty awesome as well.
One last (or for some people, first) resort is to do some torrents for it, and illegally steal it. But can you blame them if it costs so much in the first place? I would advise not doing this though, because the WGA check can kill you if you want to update Windows, and it knows you stole that illegally.
So do you think Microsoft Office costs such ridiculous prices? Shouldn’t Microsoft be trying to make technology and software accessible to many people by making it low cost, or in some cases, free?
If it were me, I would make each Office program cost $20 each. ALL Office programs are just $20 each.
I would just stop selling a ‘bundle’ of popular programs, and allow people to pick and select which programs they want, and put them together that way. Just put a check mark next to each program you want, and that’s it. No more analyzing which suite is ‘the best for YOU’. So if you buy 2 programs, that’s $40. If you buy 4 programs, that’s $80. With each program having consistent prices, it’s really easy to expect how much you should pay. Microsoft could take this a step further, and for people who pay more than $100 (or some certain market price), each program can cost a few dollars cheaper, or maybe price of $150 and above, you get a free program! Nice, eh?
Microsoft can also do a better job on digital downloads for Office. I checked the site, and only certain programs/suites are available to download right off the site and to your computer. I want ALL programs/suites to be available off the Office siite, and have an easy 1-click process to get it in your computer easily and fast. No more with saying you understand the stupid license term, EULA’s or whatever that bugs you into downloading it. It’s just so annoying. Make all the Office programs downloadable and people would be fine with that.
I would also use a much more cleaner packaging than the current Office boxes. The 07′ Office suite boxes look cool, but they can be a hassle to open, and are made out of plastics (not eco-friendly!), so it’s really annoying. The retail boxes should be simple enough to open, made out of a clean, disposable material, and at the same time, look real elegant. No paper manuals either, it should just be virtually on the computer.
So that’s the way I would sell off Microsoft Office. That’s the exact same way Microsoft should sell MS Office. The next step after this would be of course to create a free MS Office programs/suite with the possibility of reducing features, or putting up ads. But that’s another story…
So what do you think? Does my solution to MS Office’s ridiculous pricing scheme make sense? I don’t want to think that Microsoft is hustling us, but prices are just too much.
If Microsoft keeps doing things this way, people will resort to alternatives, like OpenOffice. Or even different online programs such as Adobe Buzzword and Google Docs. So Microsoft better do something, before the world decides to move on.
If you’re an employee of a large business or work a lot with office documents, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, databases, etc., than Office 2007 was made just for you.
But if you’re just a casual user, and don’t mind using simple tools, than older versions of Office (like 2003 is good), than that’s the one for you. Or even a free office suite from the web is also becoming an interesting choice.
So it’s interesting if Microsoft will do anything to make it’s Office line work better.