Office pirates can grab a one-year Microsoft 365 subscription at half price

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,046   +152
Staff member
The big picture: Microsoft is extending an olive branch in its never-ending battle against those who use its software without paying. Rather than threaten legal action against Office pirates, Microsoft for a limited time is offering offenders half off the price of a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Some Microsoft counterfeit software users are seeing a promotional banner for 50 percent off. Clicking the link takes you to this page, which explains the risks associated with using pirated software such as higher exposure to virus and malware attacks, the potential for corrupted files and data loss, and the inability to receive critical security updates.

The fine print notes that the discount only applies to the first year of an annual Microsoft 365 personal or family subscription, and that a credit card is required. After the first year, the subscription will continue at the regular yearly rate unless cancelled. What’s more, existing Microsoft 365 subscribers are not eligible for the reduced rate.

Related reading: Microsoft increasing price for Office 365 and Microsoft 365 next year

A campaign to convince someone that is already using functional software to suddenly pay for it is likely to have a low success rate, but every situation is unique. Perhaps someone is only pirating a piece of software because they genuinely cannot afford to purchase it. That doesn’t make it right, but it might not be fair to file them in the category of scumbag, either.

Consider the music industry. Millions of people that once pirated songs now pay for monthly subscriptions to streaming services, highlighting that change is possible.

Permalink to story.

 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,319   +4,966
MS has turned a blind eye to piracy for decades as they make the bulk of their money from corporations licensing their software for office use...

For the past few years now, Windows Defender has been a bit more aggressively categorizing KMS (and other office "activators") as viruses and removing them from your PC - even when you set exceptions for them...

I guess they've decided that they might be able to eke a few million more out of the pirates... I'd be curious to see their numbers (but I'm sure they will never release them) - I assume that the instances of Defender's removals are being sent back to MS and they are increasing - so MS has decided they want to grab some of that :)


 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,272   +7,209
#1 I'm glad Microsoft is clamping down because it improves profitability and their shares pay dividends.

#2 I am annoyed that everything is subscription service now despite the fact we need to afford the cloud services somehow. I do enjoy being able to log in on any pc and have access to my entire MS portfolio. I have two separate portfolios though. One is enterprise and one is personal. To save money, I may dump the personal because I also pay separately for Xbox Live on Xbox Series X.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,091   +4,000
I thought this was common knowledge for a while now: people who still pirate office really can't afford anything at all. Everybody else well if you need office for work, it's extremely likely you make the 5 bucks (Soon to be *drumroll* 6) Microsoft charges for base 365 and 1tb of onedrive to boot just in case.

I honestly don't know if there's any situation in which a person that pirates office because they really, really need it for something as say, school work or to edit and send out resumes and work applications before they're evicted and ruined, will go "Hey I get to eat a can of tuna in just 16 more hours...Oh look: Now that I can pay 3 bucks instead of 6 I can finally afford this!"
 

eforce

Posts: 895   +1,274
MS has turned a blind eye to piracy for decades as they make the bulk of their money from corporations licensing their software for office use...

For the past few years now, Windows Defender has been a bit more aggressively categorizing KMS (and other office "activators") as viruses and removing them from your PC - even when you set exceptions for them...

I guess they've decided that they might be able to eke a few million more out of the pirates... I'd be curious to see their numbers (but I'm sure they will never release them) - I assume that the instances of Defender's removals are being sent back to MS and they are increasing - so MS has decided they want to grab some of that :)

Which is just another reason to keep it disabled.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,312   +2,318
Yea, no. I don't buy the music comparison. Music is cheap af. And subscriptions give you access to all genres of music. Unlimited music. Windows and Office are none of those things.

If pirates in 2021 are still stealing Office and/or Windows, I see the primary alternative being discounted OEM keys before going full legal.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,107   +1,643
I feel more like Microsoft is pirating my dollars. I pay every month for an Office subscription I'd prefer not to use. I have it because one client sometimes still sends me files that only open properly in Office. Each time I open one of them I marvel at how slow, bloated, and weird it feels - I think they actually added some weird animation effect to Excel a couple years back that makes it feel even slower than it really is.
 

BadThad

Posts: 995   +1,136
I'd be surprised if they get a nickel from this. The other alternatives are to buy an ultra cheap copy of Office 2003 or 2010 from ebay and use that. They work JUST FINE other than MS seems to have cutoff any updates and they will put up a nag screen telling you that you're not running the latest version.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,419
I use office for personal use, mostly signing contracts, managing finances and creating the odd report, my current job is not office based and I work on boats so it’s limited use. I bought office 2016 pro plus (or something) from my previous employer for £10 back when I was a systems engineer. Since then it’s been fine for everything I need. I haven’t really looked at the office 365 subscriptions but what does it have that a single user could want that the retail cheap versions of office don’t have?

I’m never paying MS a sub for it, il just switch to the Google alternatives.
 

trgz

Posts: 384   +146
I'd be surprised if they get a nickel from this. The other alternatives are to buy an ultra cheap copy of Office 2003 or 2010 from ebay and use that. They work JUST FINE other than MS seems to have cutoff any updates and they will put up a nag screen telling you that you're not running the latest version.
Still very happy with Office 2010, so much so that I don't even have my copy of the (frankly awful looking) 2013 installed
 

bviktor

Posts: 789   +1,202
MS has turned a blind eye to piracy for decades as they make the bulk of their money from corporations licensing their software for office use...

For the past few years now, Windows Defender has been a bit more aggressively categorizing KMS (and other office "activators") as viruses and removing them from your PC - even when you set exceptions for them...

I guess they've decided that they might be able to eke a few million more out of the pirates... I'd be curious to see their numbers (but I'm sure they will never release them) - I assume that the instances of Defender's removals are being sent back to MS and they are increasing - so MS has decided they want to grab some of that :)
Or... it's just that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. The biggest selling point of M365 is cloud storage, not Office itself. In essence, it's OneDrive with some extras. And an extremely good offering at that. I just got myself the family pack for $70 from a retailer. That is 1TB storage for SIX users for a year. There's simply no better offering on the market.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,319   +4,966
Or... it's just that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. The biggest selling point of M365 is cloud storage, not Office itself.
What does that have to do with what I'm talking about? I suspect that YOU have no idea what I'm talking about... but hey, ignorance is bliss...
 

bviktor

Posts: 789   +1,202
What does that have to do with what I'm talking about? I suspect that YOU have no idea what I'm talking about... but hey, ignorance is bliss...
Everything. People couldn't care less about pirating Office. MS couldn't care less either. Your point about pirating software is perfectly irrelevant. It's about cloud storage, not Office. But I've already told you that, apparently in vain.

Btw I've been provisioning and budgeting MS licenses for about 8 years now, but please tell me more about how I'm the ignorant one here.
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,319   +4,966
Everything. People couldn't care less about pirating Office. MS couldn't care less either. Your point about pirating software is perfectly irrelevant. It's about cloud storage, not Office. But I've already told you that, apparently in vain.

Btw I've been provisioning and budgeting MS licenses for about 8 years now, but please tell me more about how I'm the ignorant one here.
This is about INDIVIDUALS - not businesses - pirating MS Office. Obviously plenty of people do it - and NOT for the cloud storage, since you don't get that when pirating...

Why would MS be offering discounts to pirates if no one was doing it?

By the way... here's a quote from Bill Gates for you...

“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not. Are you kidding? You can get the real thing, and you get the same price.” — Bill Gates on Microsoft In China

Yes, I understand it's about Windows...but it does show just how prevalent piracy is...
 
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dualkelly

Posts: 196   +237
MS has turned a blind eye to piracy for decades as they make the bulk of their money from corporations licensing their software for office use...
real pirates know how to turn off windows defender. Defender is not a virus scanner really its more of a feature to keep normal people from turning off Microsoft services. Its trash. Thankfully enough tools to not just disable all of microsoft apps but to block all their IP address as well. Makes for a much better operating system when they are not stealing your bandwidth for updates an other such nonsense.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,319   +4,966
real pirates know how to turn off windows defender. Defender is not a virus scanner really its more of a feature to keep normal people from turning off Microsoft services. Its trash. Thankfully enough tools to not just disable all of microsoft apps but to block all their IP address as well. Makes for a much better operating system when they are not stealing your bandwidth for updates an other such nonsense.
Ok…. But “real” pirates make up a very small percentage of those who use counterfeit MS products…. The majority of those who use pirated copies don’t turn off MS’ “trash”…
 
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dualkelly

Posts: 196   +237
Ok…. But “real” pirates make up a very small percentage of those who use counterfeit MS products…. The majority of those who use pirated copies don’t turn of MS’ “trash”…
no but the majority of power users do turn off MS 'trash' its literally not that hard to do. several tools to remove windows update that literally steals your bandwidth and uses your computer to update others. To eradicate edge trash browser from your computer and to turn off telemetry that sends much of your data to Microsoft so they can sell it for advertisement dollars. For example blackbird and windows 10 update blocker. Can still update but manually so windows doesnt hijack your system and reboot it whenever it wants.
 

Feng Lengshun

Posts: 13   +5
No thanks. I'll just buy another cheap permanent license for $3. And I just use WPS Office (network access blocked ofc) or OnlyOffice most of the time - they works, and WPS specifically has a lot of QoL improvements over MS. I only need MS Office for the few times I run a macro.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,319   +4,966
no but the majority of power users do turn off MS 'trash' its literally not that hard to do. several tools to remove windows update that literally steals your bandwidth and uses your computer to update others. To eradicate edge trash browser from your computer and to turn off telemetry that sends much of your data to Microsoft so they can sell it for advertisement dollars. For example blackbird and windows 10 update blocker. Can still update but manually so windows doesnt hijack your system and reboot it whenever it wants.
Yes... “power users”.... those make up a tiny percentage of “regular” users...
 

3ogdy

Posts: 47   +25
Dear user, you have to choose between

A.Paying for a Microsoft Office 365 subscription at half the price or
B. Keeping your current software and using it for free.

Logical choice: pay Microsoft. /s