When it comes to productivity suites, Microsoft's
long-running Office almost always gets top billing. Sure, there are
alternatives like OpenOffice and StarOffice available to consumers, but Office
sets the standard.
The latest version of the software suite, Office 2007, was
released to OEMs on November
30, 2006. Retail customers were able to take possession of the software on January 30, 2007.
One area where Microsoft hasn't always been competitive with
Office, however, is with pricing. While OpenOffice
and StarOffice (most
recently) are available for free, Office 2007 can get a bit pricey when you
start piling on applications.
Pricing ranges from $149 for Microsoft Office Home and
Student to $679 for Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 ($539 Upgrade).
Microsoft has decided to take it a bit easy on college
students with "The
Ultimate Steal" promotion. Although many college universities offer
steeply discounted versions of Microsoft software, this new promotion is direct
from Microsoft to students.
College students with a valid university ".edu"
email address, are enrolled in at 0.5 hours of coursework and can provide
documentation of enrollment can purchase Office Ultimate 2007 for a mere
Students can download the software direct from Microsoft or have a DVD shipped out for a fee.
"We’re listening to students who have told us they need
Microsoft Office for their studies and want more flexible ways to get the
latest version," said Microsoft General Manager of Worldwide Education
Alan Yates. We’re committed to providing accessible and affordable technology
to students so they can meet their academic goals. The Ultimate Steal is the
latest in a long history of providing compelling academic offers for
"Students" who cannot provide documentation that
proves they are enrolled at a "higher education" institution will be liable for the
full $679 cost of the software.
Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 includes Microsoft Office
Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007,
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, Microsoft Office
Access 2007, Microsoft Office Publisher 2007, Office OneNote 2007, Office
Groove 2007 and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007.
"The Ultimate Steal" promotion is currently
available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The program will
be available in France, Italy and Spain beginning September 20. The promotion
will end on April 30, 2008.