Does MS really need to charge that much for Office?

I’d like to upgrade to the new Office at some point, but there’s no way I can afford it when I can get by with my old version. If it were reasonably priced however I’d save up to get it.

Wouldn’t Microsoft be much further ahead selling more copies for a lower price? I think a lot of the priacy of MS products is due to the outrageous cost vs. the fact people just want to pirate?

You’ll upgrade when people start sending you files you can’t read unless you upgrade.

MS makes mad money off of Office, because all the businesses have to buy it. So the prices are probably calculated for businesses.

I have no numbers at all to back me up but I’m betting individual retail boxed copies of Office going to home users don’t make up a significant chunk of the revenue MS gets from Office. That being the case, if they up the prices to the businesses and a few individual users are lost because they can’t afford it, MS still comes out way ahead.

Pinard, aren’t you affiliated with a university in some way? If you are a student or a teacher of any kind you can get a substantial (like 70%) discount on all Microsoft software.


I to was startled about the high price of MSoffice. I’ve since then gone with (free!), and never looked back. It does what I need it to do (which is almost entirely word processing) and translates flawlessly to Word (i.e., save on disk, open file on PC with Word).

I haven’t really used any of the other programs indepth, though, such as the spread sheet program. What I have used works fine, but YMMV.

Everything you need to know about software pricing.

The Home & Student version of Office 2007 only costs $149 and it includes the stuff most uh… home & students would use Office for. $149 isn’t very much, whiners! Yeah the full Office 2007 Ultimate costs eleventy billion dollars but that’s because that’s what businesses will pay for it. You don’t need all those features the Ultimate version has, so stop being OCD about them.

I agree with CCZ. The new home edition is quite affordable and includes the main apps (Word & Excel). I think people are getting hung up on the lack of Outlook being included. Vista includes a mail client which will probably be adequate anyway. Despite Outlook being used by lots of home users in the past, it’s rather overkill since 50% of what it does best requires an Exchange server.

I’m in the middle of an experiment where I did not reinstall Office after doing a complete reinstall. Instead I’m trying to see if I can get by with only Google Docs & Spreadsheets, their online-only word processor and spreadsheet. So far I’ve only had one hiccup, a Wordperfect file that someone sent me that couldn’t be converted, so I had to get a friend who had WP to convert it to RTF for me.

If the D&S experiment fails, I’ll try OpenOffice next.

This is where your experiment will succeed.

Open Calc is better than Excel.

The Word replacement isn’t quite there yet, but I’m such a power user with Word that it may just be me.

At least they haven’t gone into coin-op/microtransaction mode with it. Yet.

Open a file sent to you: $0.02
Export a document in PDF form: $0.25

(Fill in your own “priceless” punch line to my lame joke).


This brings up another thing, I like that we can now save documents as PDFs so that anyone can view them, but is PDF the best we can do? It seems like such a bloated format, couldn’t the open source community whip up something lighter and faster? Plus, the Adobe Reader is just the worst, most bloated, adware-infested, toolbar-installing, assed out application evar. I know there is Foxit, but not enough people know about it. THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!

I’d rather save my documents as JPGs.

Man, I totally disagree with you re: PDF. It is a fantastic format, considering how flexible it is. Yeah, Adobe Reader is bloated (though the newest versions are actually much less so, either that or computer hardware has evolved to the point where the bloat isn’t as noticable) but that is a different issue.

Also, the open source community is the worst place to look for lightweight formats. I mean, look at SVG compared to SWF. SVG is a fuckin’ nightmare.

I’d rather save my documents as JPGs.

Have fun text searching them.

Don’t agree at all: ogg, xvid, and theora are all quite lightweight.

Good point, but there’s no need to search my one page resume.

xvid is a bastardized mpeg-4, so I don’t think it counts. Ogg is nice, yes, and PNG is another decent open format, but they are exceptions, IMO.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I’ve never even heard of those open source formats, other than PNG…

PDF isn’t bloated at all, it’s much more compact than an equivalent Word file even though it contains PostScript layout data suitable for high-resolution printing. But fear not, PDF haters, Microsoft is coming to the rescue with XPS! Aren’t you happy to get yet another proprietary Microsoft format?

Do you need anything that doesn’t fit in RTF? Everything reads RTF.