Microsoft makes a good deal for Office hackers

Office hackers recently discovered something new in their software: a tempting high discount on a Microsoft 365 subscription. […]

(c) Microsoft

Usually software manufacturers have to fight piracy. But even the most law-abiding understood the rationale: if someone couldn’t buy something from you, they wouldn’t either, whether or not they could get it cheaper elsewhere. Microsoft seems to have realized this, because the company is sending discount offers to some users of its Office software who use it in an imperfect legal way.

Ghacks has found that some users of the pirated version of Office have received an in-program message enticing them to take a 50 percent discount on a Microsoft 365 subscription that includes all major Office applications. The promotional page users were sent to also contains plenty of warnings about the general risks and harms of software piracy, but it also includes a nice discount on the annual subscription. Notably, the discount only applies to Microsoft 365, not the expensive standalone version of Office 2021, which is the natural target of software hackers. While Microsoft 365 costs $10 per month for a single user, Office Home & Business (and perpetual use license) costs $250 for a PC.

The discount is only valid for some users and in some markets. If you think hacking Office in hopes of getting a discount is a good idea, think twice. There are also easier (and safer) ways to save money on Office.

The message of this targeted discount is clear: Microsoft not only wants to promote its subscription services to regular users, but also to turn at least some software pirates into SaaS customers. This sounds like a great job. It’s not that hackers didn’t have completely legitimate free options for editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. But you still have to praise Microsoft for its creativity.

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