I really, really shouldn’t be doing stuff like this for free. However, until I figure out how to monetise it properly, I’ll just have to share the news and let the vendor, in this case Microsoft, get the free ad.
Microsoft is making Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Home Edition available at N6,500.00 for 6 weeks starting from the 15th of December, and you will be legally allowed to install it on up to 3 computers. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a very sweet deal. To give you some perspective, I saw the software currently available in a store for N18,000.00. So it will be going for about a third of the price. I should warn you though that this version contains only Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. So no Microsoft Access for the database aficionados and no Microsoft Outlook either. Still, the deal is a sweet one anyway you want to look at it.
This offer is available for Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. According to Microsoft, you can walk into any store where software is legitimately sold during that period and get it at that price. They should have advertising available prominently displaying the price. So no one should be able to get away with selling the pack at an inflated price.
So if you live outside these zones, you are out of luck. On the other hand, if you are a student of a British or American University, you get Office 2007 Ultimate and Windows 7 Professional at about $30 for Windows and $60 for Office Ultimate. You can access the student offers here. By the way, from my experience, if you are a student of an online program like the University of Liverpool Online, you can get these deals as the validation criteria is having a valid email address from an academic institution in these countries. So if you have an “.ac.uk” or a “.edu” email address, then you are well on your way to getting good software at rock bottom, yet legitimate, pricing. Now they would only extend that offer to Nigerian Universities where we really need those kinds of offers…
Of course, as I have mentioned before, you can get OpenOffice.org at a much better price: completely free and it can do most things that Microsoft Office can do. You just need to download and install. Most of us, do prefer MS Office. We grew up with it and is the de facto standard that everyone else is playing catch up to. Still, free is free is free.
Be that as it may, we appreciate Mr. Ballmer’s magnanimity. Thanks Steve, nice one.