Microsoft has offered a 50% discount on its cloud-based Microsoft 356 Personal and Family subscriptions as it continues its efforts to turn software pirates into paying customers.
The company is nudging users using unlicensed Microsoft Office on their computers to subscribe at a discounted rate for the first year. It has also warned users about the risks of using counterfeit software on their PCs. As of now, it appears that only users who have pirated the software are eligible to claim the discount online.
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The company’s discounted subscription offer was recently spotted by gHacks as a banner in the ribbon UI of a counterfeit Microsoft Office. The banner, which advertises a 50% discount, redirects to a website that warns about the risks of using pirated software. The website landing page also has a purchase option with annual subscription prices of Microsoft 365 Personal (Rs 4,899) and Microsoft 365 Family (Rs 6,199). It also displays the message about the 50% discount for “eligible customers”.
However, not all users appear to be eligible, according to Microsoft. Users have to sign in so that the company can check their eligibility for the discount, and accounts with a genuine Microsoft Office license key (or Office 365 subscription) seem to be excluded.
Microsoft Office, as one of the most widely used office and productivity suites globally, is also among the most pirated. The company’s move seems to be aimed at turning users running pirated software into paying customers. The discounted price of Rs 3,100 for Microsoft Office 365 Family will be valid for only the first year, after which the tech giant will charge the regular Rs 6,199 price.
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Users who don’t want to pay an annual subscription or want a discount on the standalone version of Microsoft Office can use the services for free using the Microsoft Office Online tools, which allows access to edit files in a browser window without a subscription or license.