back to article MS wields price cutlass at Chinese pirates

Microsoft has slashed the retail price of its Office 2007 suite in China by over 70 per cent for versions to counter widespread piracy in the country. The software giant has cut the selling price for Office 2007 Home and Student Edition to 199 yuan ($29) from 699 yuan ($102) as a special promotional offer that kicked off on …


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  1. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    So, they can drop the price for China, but...

    continue to screw the rest of us.

    At least they seem to have finally realised that high price = pirated product.

    $29 (£18 ish) for Office. (albeit the student version, but how many people need the 'full' version in reality)

    Note to Microsoft Marketing;

    If you want to stem the tide of pirated software in the Western World as well, this is more like the kind of price you're going to have to come down to.

    Welcome to the real world guys.

    Thumbs down, cos you're still shafting the rest of us.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    we should heavy pirate software in the UK and then Microshaft will cut the ripoff UK prices and put them into an affordable price range ?

    Shouldn't it be Steve now that BillyBob has stepped down ?

  3. Mectron

    There is one Market

    Earth. So where can i get y copy of MS offcie 2007 for 29$?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about us?

    So does this mean that if we start pirating more copies of Office 2007 in the US, they will drop the price for us too?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Just goes to show...

    China price: <£20

    US Price: $149.95 (£81)

    UK Price: £99.99

    Who's being ripped off here?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Clearly, extended piracy leads to lower prices!

    Great idea MS- piss off those who have bought it and still keep it at a price where "free and without annoying Activation stuff but illegal" is a more attractive option...

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Someone could go out there buy a load of licenses in china for 20 squid, take them back overe here and flog em for 100.

    Step 1: Steal under...errr office.

    Step2: ???

    Step3: Profit

    Open Office etc

  8. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Employee Purchase programme

    Gets you Office 2007 Enterprise for £17.31

    And Project 2007 and Visio 2007 for the same price


    IT? Why are they not offering you this?

  9. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Office 2007

    Why use it? beta reads 2007 .***x filetypes, writes to (more widely used) .xxx types, and is free.

    Even for the cheaper price, I wouldn't use 2007.

  10. Sean Ellis

    Obligatory OOo reference

    And of course, don't forget to do the same "rip off Britain" comparison for the major competitor,

    China price: £0

    US Price: $0 (£0)

    UK Price: £0

    Who's being ripped off here? Er, hang on a moment...

  11. Mike Moyle

    Great idea...!

    "Microsoft has slashed the retail price of its Office 2007 suite in China by over 70 per cent for versions to counter widespread piracy in the country."

    has anyone told the RIAA about this strategy?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Chinese Capitalism 101

    Those billions in lost revenue to their piracy, plus the lowest possible production costs for their exports, plus their wails of protest at any increased tariffs in the West - are the price of attempting business as we know it in a market area of about one and a half billion potential customers. Until Western labor costs approach Chinese standards, we are moaning against the tide of population surge. There is no give and take in that world. The usual conventions don't apply. When will we learn? ....your call.....

    ....mine's the one with the melting chocolate in the pocket....

  13. Chad H.

    dear mr ballmer.

    Dear mr ballmer

    I will stop pirating your products in exchange for 1 million dollars.

    Oh, and a pony.


  14. Sooty

    in microsofts best interest

    to practically give office away to home users, they will make next to no money on it compared to corporate use. Corporations have to buy office, so the wider user base it has, the more likely they are to pay for it.

    Microsoft could probably make office free for non-commercial use and i doubt they'd have a drop in their profits. who actually buys it? Home users either get it 'free' with a pc, or install a pirate version.

    I'm guessing that china doesn't have the same level of commercial use as the western world, there are probably no drawbacks to companies pirating it.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    What an interesting message this sends

    Piracy pays off.


    I wish that would trickle down to the other markets, as well.

    Though I suspect that the idea behind this is that, in China, very few people would ever pay for the official deal unless its dirty cheap, so they want to make at least a little money there.

    In the UK/US/etc., they're feeding at the tit of corporate and government (in most cases) cash cows, so can continue to screw the general population without guilt.

    So the solution would be for business and government to stop subsidizing Microsoft in those markets, and then the price would have to adjust accordingly. Wouldn't even have to be to OpenOffice and the other brown egg software - just Something Else. Probably won't happen, though, for a variety of legal and quasi-legal reasons.

  16. Warhelmet

    Yes, but, no, but...

    Things like employee purchase programmes and educational/home discounts do bring MS Office within easy reach of Joe Bloggs. Oh, sure, most people in the UK who buy the home edition can probably afford the full price edition but it looks wank from the perspective of MS Office costing more than a machine that can run it. £179 for a brand new laptop. Damn sight less for a second XP capable machine.

    With employee purchase schemes, Microsoft are essentially givng MS Office away. And it makes them money in that people using stuff at home means that they are learning the product outside of work, which leads to a higher level of proficiency. Which reduces training costs for the organisation. Which makes switching to a different office suite look more and more expensive. All that migration training and the time that it will take people to get up to speed, etc... Also, imagine the grumbles and ill-feeling from people if you do the change over.

    By extension, Microsoft could give away MS Office for non-commercial use and probably still make lots of money, it not more. It would make MS Office even more of a de-facto standard than it now is. Free MS Office for schools and kids. When they hit the workplace - you either go with that or spend money on cross-training.

    In the past, I've paid up for full versions of MS Office for home use. I've used it to upskill myself. I really hate to see that advantage I had eroded. But I've moved on terms of what I do. I don't do VBA for Excel anymore. I want to play with SQL Server, but the cost! Especially considering the necessary server license. And I can't make head nor tail of the licensing costs. It's enough to make me want to slink over to PirateBay. Which I won't.

    Sod it. I'll make work cough up for a MSDN thing for me. "But you're not a developer" they'll say. Yes, but, I do a lot learning in my own time and actually I can and do code. And I look after my 2p x quad core Linux box with MySQL on it perfectly well.

    Definitely a case of one tit bigger than the other if you view non-commercial usage driving commercial purchase. SQL Server Express? My arse. Ditto with Visual Studio.

    Mine's the one with the gurning face of David Walliams on it.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Office and there OS's

    I would be less harsh on MS bloat ware if It was a sensible price.

    Vista Ultimate (retail) is over £450 in PC world

    Office 2007 is even more ridicules!

    Then they wonder why I slate it whenever it crashes, for £450 (half a months wages after tax) I want it too boot up in under 20 minutes, suck my c***, make me coffee, clean up and actually work as an operating system.

    Don't get started with the price of office 2007!

    Paris, because for £450 i'm sure I could get some of my wishes

  18. Peter

    Price drops

    Funny, the price in Australia has dropped significantly too, used to hover between $214 and $184 for special occaisions. Today you're looking at $114 tax inclusive. Still using OOo though...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pillars of Capitalism

    Of course, it's okay to give a break to repressive communist regimes, as long as you make a buck off it. You whiners all enjoy something akin to a rough approximation of something approaching political freedom. Along with that comes nasty stuff like antitrust laws, consumer rights and other sinful inconveniences to the ardent profiteer.

    The higher prices are just your well-deserved "freedom tax". After all, you're not really free until you can make the filthy rich filthier. Er, I mean richer. The neo-cons will take care of the filthier.

  20. Tom

    It's a cultural thing.

    Copyright is a western concept. Culturally it has no place in China where such a concept is alien.

    What do M$ expect, for the world to change to fit in with their business plan?

  21. Moss Icely Spaceport

    This could catch on here in the west too

    "With this [much lower] price, we believe more customers can enjoy authorised software products,"

    Wow, what an idea!

  22. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    @Anonymous coward

    "China price: <£20

    US Price: $149.95 (£81)

    UK Price: £99.99

    Who's being ripped off here?"

    I think I see what happening - for every copy we buy, the extra cost above the US price buys a copy for China.

    I never did understand economics. Can I be Chancellor?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So why is our government not allowing piracy a free hand here ? Apparently it makes companies become more realisic about their prices.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Microsoft would have to pay me

    a lot more than that to use their crapware.

    Paris - because she demonstrates that people are prepared to pay for a quality product.

  25. Matthew
    Gates Halo

    Whats wrong with 2007?

    I think it's the best office that's come out since office 97. Its still too expensive though..

  26. rick buck
    Gates Horns


    This just shows they have already paid for the development costs, and think that their product is better than the copied copyrighted pirated software that already exists. What do the Chinese care about "Legitimate"? Just like the Brits, Frogs and Yanks; it all comes down to one thing: COST.

    Cheaper is better, and will result in more Legitimate Users, but will this tactic will alienate those who have to pay a INFLATED (as in "NOT EQUAL COST FOR EQUAL VALUE) COST even more. I guarantee this will backfire on M$.

    Is there a opening for litigation, for gouging those who DO NOT get the reduced prices? If this product is only worth $29.00 Chinese equivalent, there may be a place for a Class-Action Suit, not only for current and future users, but for past purchasers, such as government agencies, Municipalities, and corporations, that have spent millions for the right to use the programing.

    Maybe M$ will see the light and reduce prices worldwide, and let the world know that "at least it is trying to play fair".

    If the Chinese version has an English language option, put me on the list to have a copy shipped, as long as I can get it to initialize and run in the US.

    Otherwise, I may go visit my lawyer (solicitor) tomorrow.

    Wait, do I see a bunch of states attorney generals in a boat off in the distance.....

    Evil Bill, 'cause those horns were meant for gougin'....

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