back to article Microsoft pushes Office 2007 with 'try-before-you-buy'

Microsoft is shipping limited-use copies of Office 2007 with PCs in a try-before-you-buy scheme to seed the market with its latest suite and drive Windows server and client software sales. The company has revealed its Office Ready PC Program, where partners pre install images of Office 2007 on new machines and allow end-users …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or better still ...

    Why not pre-install a copy of Open Office, that does everything anybody is likely to need, but carries on working even after 60 days for no extra charge ???

  2. Test Man

    Re: Or better still ...

    Because can't do everything that Office 2007 can, that's why.

  3. Kevin Crisp

    Re: Re: Or better stil ...

    You misread the comment - anon said "everything anybody is likely to need". Of course he meant "almost everything most people will ever need" then he would have been correct.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now there is no need to clog up P2P networks downloading warez'd copies of Office. The owner simply needs to download the key generator - much quicker.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re[2]: Or better still

    "Because can't do everything that Office 2007 can, that's why."

    Like, spread viruses about, you mean?

    (yes, it's old, but MS-Office is still the only office suite to have done this AFAIK)

    I'll take TYVM.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    M$ want to infiltrate the end users with O07, hmmmm most companies i've worked for either have a standard desktop image, flashed on before it hit's the corp office by the vendors OR before the end user log's on for the first time it is built by Desktop support with guess what???...........

    A) a build image!!

    How then do M$ intend to wow the users with it's flashy new Office?

    What about if a company allows it's users to run the trialware?

    I am still on OXP, my coll gets a flashy new Laptop and proceeds to create a new doc saves it as per the norm, totally ignorant of the fact i'm 2 V behind them and i can't open it, I send it back say "Oi I need it saved as a 2002 please!" OK not too much hassel but when they have to do it every time they send a file out, soon enough you'll hear "Hi, is this the Hell desk?" " Yeah can I have Office XXXX installed please, my trail ware is useless nobody can open the files I send them"

    doomed to fail i tells ya, doomed!!

  7. Kevin Walsh

    Is this new News?

    I bought my shiny new laptop in March and it had Office 2007 installed as a 60 day trial. Gave it a fair shot but to found the whole thing totally confusing. In the end I deleted it and went back to Office 2003.

    Have tried Open Office, but once again just seems too much aggravation to convert. Also, I use msn stock updates in XL, does not seem to be a OO equivalent.

    I quite like Vista, still find some of the "features" totally confusing, but generally prefer it to XP. As with OO, I have tried Linux, but it is just too much aggro on my laptop with such things as wireless and bluetooth support.


  8. Morely Dotes

    Oh, great. More crapware to uninstall.

    Life didn't suck enough with "preview" versions of Norton/Symantec/McAfee or whatever other crappy and ineffective AV, stupid games that surreptitiously track your Internet browsing, badly-designed music stores integrated into the Media Player, poorly-performing CD burning software, user-hostile Zip file handling... Well, you get the picture. So now Microsoft wants to try to work around the edges of the US Government's anti-trust division by calling the bundled Office package "trialware." Ugh.

    It's bad enough that I have to have MS Office 2007 on one of my work computers so I can support it within the workplace; there's no way in Hell I'll ever allow it on my home network. Furthermore, OpenOffice does everything that I really need to day anyhow (OK, I have to add Thunderbird and Sunbird to get email and calendar pacakages, but the total cost is still zero).

    It still baffles me that any *competent* PC user (or worse, CTO) would deliberately spend that kind of money for inferior software.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 generation text editor....

    Crap, how many times do I have to buy Word? Can MS really expect to keep that revenue stream going forever?

  10. Ash

    Use a PC out-of-the-box? NEVER!

    1) Buy (Build) new PC.

    2) Format Hard Drive and install current OS flavour (xp Pro in my case)

    3) Install Drivers

    4) Install Updates

    5) Install system apps (AV, Anti spyware etc)

    6) Image to DVD / External HDD

    NOW you can use your new PC. It's free of crap, and can be easily restored in the event of shitware infection (My term for crapware, bloatware, malware, and Microsoft Genuine (dis)Advantage).

  11. George Forth

    Inflated ideas

    Maybe if they stopped inflating the programs with gumph that only 3 people in the world actually use then they wouldn't have to price them so highly and people wouldn't feel that they want to stick with something like Word97 which works perfectly, does exactly what they want, and doesn't slow up all but the most advanced machines.

  12. Alan Paice

    Dell Crapware

    I advise and always have for users to steer clear of Dell. I recently installed a clean copy of XP on my friends Dell. Much to my amazement it was actually quite fast.

    May be they should try shipping with an optional extras disc?

    But worry not as long as Dell et al continue to do this, the more money I will make undoing it :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news about New Office

    This has been around since the product launch, they just re-launched this at the partner conference because it's not had big take-up yet (amongst partners).

    It not only allows people to buy after the trial period, but to buy whichever version or components suit them. This is the real trick here - get people used to an app like OneNote and they won't want to give it up, so they buy a bigger version than the most basic one they otherwise might have.

    For smaller businesses they rely on their partners to install their software in many cases, this allows the partner to have a pre-build which is faster to deploy and activate only the components the user needs (and pays for). Many businesses do buy their licences through volume programmes, and that does not change here - it just means the installation process is easier. This does not have to be activated with an OEM licence key.

    It can also help firms who are not yet deploying Office 2007 - it's just sat waiting on the hard drive so when you do want it you can turn it on really easily.

    As to version compatibility, anyone using older versions can install the compatibility pack to avoid the issue completely, or use the viewers. You may as well install one or the other now since someone, somewhere might send you a doc in the new format who is outside your organisation. For how long would you like them to cripple themselves saving in the old format just for you? Would you not prefer them to send you much smaller files by email in the new (zipped) format rather than the monstrous files of old?

    Internally, use Group Policy to control Office 2007 (do it now, for when that first installation appears on the network) and get it to save in the version you want.

    I am sure OpenOffice is great for many people but it simply does not do everything that *I* need, particularly for advanced spreadsheet work and presenting. Office 2007 is a great version which I would advocate to anyone buying a new suite (eg with a new PC). I would not go so far as to say people should spend money to upgrade off XP/2003 but it is a big improvement over 2000 and earlier. It improves my productivity and I would not want to go back (unlike Vista which I could take or leave and would happily run a nice fast XP system instead).

  14. Nick Collingridge

    Office 07 is a disaster for M$

    1. Nobody (or hardly anybody) needs more functionality than Office 2003 provided.

    2. The ribbon is, let's face it, no better for most people than menus. It's unfamiliar and annoying, and more to the point there's seemingly no way (that I've found) to default it to the collapsed form where it's somewhat like menus. This means that you're always faced with a large part of the screen consumed with the ribbon when what most people want is a nice large area to be able to work on the document. Which is fundamentally what the software is for although MS don't seem to appreciate this.

    3. Using a new default document format is extremely annoying for people. There's no end of documents flying backwards and forwards now with annoyed comments from people not able to open them. Yes, you can set a default to use "compatibility mode" but most people don't know how to do that. This one will run and run and just increase the animosity towards Office 07 every time it happens to someone. If MS were in any way user oriented they would have popped up a message on first use asking the user which format they wanted to standardize on, but user friendliness is never their agenda.

    4. A trialware install of Office 2007 will really piss people off when they get all of the problems above, and then have to go through the hassle of uninstalling so that they can go back to a sensible version like 2003.

  15. Joe Drunk

    Nobody likes pre-installed crap

    I have yet to actually meet anyone who purchased a PC/Laptop that came with pre-installed trialware that actually upgraded to the full version. I have come across countless machines with expired copies of Office/Mcafee/Symantec etc.. Most consumers who buy a PC, LCD monitor and printer package buy it as just that - a package. How many of these people are told by sales folks that when they unbox their machine they will have to shell out additional loads of cash to obtain full functionality? Imagine buying a 42 inch LCD TV and after setting it up you get a menu prompt saying "Picture in Picture and 1080P are currently in evaluation mode and will cease functioning after 30 days unless you spend $300 more"

    The only righteous thing I have seen in trialware is from Microsoft for Vista and Office 2007 and I wish more vendors would follow suit:

    You download a virtual hard drive image with trial copies of Vista and Office and run it in a virtual machine. Since it's a virtual machine it runs independantly of your OS and therefore no garbage or clutter on your system. After you're done evaluating you merely delete the virtual hard drive image.

  16. David Anderson

    What is MS Office for

    I've just spent 6 months using Open Office after getting fed up with continual problems skipping between endless versions of M$ Word, Excel etc. To date, I've not had any problems, nor have I missed a single 'feature' of MSOffice. Long live software that actually does the things I want instead of annoying me with crap that never quite works properly.

  17. Harlan Grove

    Just what the home user needs!

    Don't know where me, the wife and the kids would be without SharePoint and SQL Server integration. And thank God for Groove work groups - couldn't get the kids to do their chores without it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tediously slow

    Just try using Excel 2007 in anger. Try plotting not a four dimensional double shaded spinning pie chart of three segments, but the sort of thing us scientists have to plot every day - a couple of series of few thousand point each, plotted on a line xy graph. When I tried, Excel 2007 choked on it, even on a reasonably fast machine. I gave up in disgust and rolled back to a pre-install backup. I might try again in a few years time when hardware catches up with this dire bloatware.

  19. walterbyrd

    Watch out! It's a trap!

    I remember when my brother-in-law decided to try office-2003. Good lord, what a complete mess. I didn't think I'd ever get it fixed.

    Here's the catch: once you "try" a msft "upgrade" you can not easily go back. The office-2003 installed over his office-2000. His outlook-2000 email was reformated to the new-and-improved outlook-2003. And outlook-2003 is incompatible with *everything*. So when his trial period was over, he could no longer access his email - unless he wanted to buy office-2003.

    Oh, did msft forget to mention that you can not fully remove the "trial" of office-2003? Silly msft. Once office-2003 has been installed, you can not overwrite it with an earlier version of office. You also can not remove office-2003 and re-install office-2000, unless you know how to hack the registry or something.

    What I eventually did was:

    1) signed up for my own trial version of office-2003

    2) used my trial version to import the backed up email

    3) saved the email in another format

    4) backed up his data

    5) wiped his HDD

    6) restored everything

    In fairness, I have not used the trial version of office-2007. But, after my experience with the trial version of office-2003, I would touch it with a ten foot pole.

    Make sure your friends and realitives don't touch it either.

  20. Ole Juul

    Soup de jour

    A computer with *anything* preinstalled is a used machine because it's got someone else's stuff on it like when you get it at the flee market or junk shop. If you are buying a new computer, and the hard drive is even formatted, you are being ripped off. I think you can, and should, demand that a new computer be clean and empty and ready for a new owner just like when you buy a house or move into a new suite (flat). How this preinstalled thing got started, I don't know. It didn't use to be like that, at least in the PC world. It's like going to a restaurant and ordering "soup de jour" because that's your favourite kind. It's embarassing.

  21. Uwe Dippel

    Partner - Partner ??

    "Partner-Programme" this is called ...

    ... I'd call it the "screw-you-over" programme.

    It doesn't look like partnership w.r.t. their sales partners; neither w.r.t. their clients.

    The first shots are, generously, free.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whee!! More bloatware. I can hardly wait - not!

  23. Bruce Robinson

    MS Office 2007

    Not very happy with 2007 tool bars which seem to have a logic all of their own.

    Would willingly go back to 2003 tomorrow if possible.

    Also noted that OEM 2007 license was not transferable although I'd not be keen to transfer it to any thing but the scrap heap frankly.

    With Vista and the new direction of MS Office software I'm becoming increasingly attracted to Apple iMac and their "Office" package. All the people I've met who have made the switch to Mac have stated they'll never go back to a PC, and MS and the OEM have increasingly contributed to this shift.

  24. Pat

    But wait...there's more.

    The main problem with the version of Office shipped with every PC is the Lock-in factor. The "save as" to another format than OOXML has been deactivated from the trial version.

    People will be fooled into using it for the trial period, then they feel they can just remove it and install either what they already have, or something else once the trial is over...

    Not so easy, since there are very few OOXML compatible office suites, and there likely will never be a lot, it may become very difficult, even almost impossible, for the average user to open all the documents he/she's workd on for the duration of the trial. In fact, many will just feel they are forced to open their wallet and pay to be able to keep working.

    This is obviously what Microsoft is hoping to achieve with the trial, and I think it is the most dispickable, disgusting move I've seen from Microsoft yet. Theay are literally preying on unsuspecting users who dont know any better.

  25. Jim

    Re: Old news about New Office

    AdamV, have you forgotten to disclose anything? Sounds remarkably like MS marketing, even including the classic "you have to use the latest version so that you are compatible with everyone else" gambit.

    My experience with the Office 2007 trial was not a good one as the fact that "It's just sat waiting on the hard drive" is not true. It doesn't wait but sets itself as default, even when you install the "Office suite" but leave the other crap hanging around.

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