Microsoft Office for cheap. Bad idea?

I am tempted to buy a Student’s version of the Standard Microsoft Office for $79.00 at

There’s no tech support, but that’s fine.

The website claims:

All of OUR Microsoft Programs are 100% legitimate & genuine products. This includes Microsoft Office, Microsoft operating systems, and all other Microsoft Office Software. Do you really want to purchase a bootleg download from Romania or some other random company?

(My bolding, their weird capitalization)

And further down on the web page, the company says:

“***Note: The words “Student Media” is imprinted on the CD, however this software can legally be used for both commercial and educational use. **

(Their bolding, their lousy grammar.)

What are the chances that this software will function properly? All I really want is WORD, anyway.

Please answer quickly. The website give me just 22 hours 43 minutes and 11 seconds before this offer expires. :smiley:

No idea as to whether or not it’s a good idea - it sounds vaguely suspect to me.

If you want Word for cheap, may I recommend OpenOffice? It’s not MS Word but supports all their file formats, and is completely free.

I say it is probably legit. You can order just Word from that same site for $39.99 if you are interested. Educational versions of MS Office can be found all over for $120 and I know those are legit. I’m not sure how that site does it any cheaper though.

I’d put in another recommendation for OpenOffice. As NinjaChick said, it fully compatible with MS Word (reads writes .doc files etc.), but it also looks extremely similar. If you can use one, you can use the other. I believe the Massachusetts state government recently decided to switch over entirely to OpenOffice, saving a substantial amount of money on license fees. So you know its not some rinky-dink freeware program.

I just downloaded OpenOffice and it looks great!!

Thank you NinjaChick and Jayrot for turning me in the right direction.

And my thanks to you, too, Shagnasty. The $40 Word program would have been a slick option, but OpenOffice was almost too good to be true. It’s free so I have no worries. If it blows up, well so what? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Mods, please don’t close this thread too quickly. I hope you’ll let it linger for the benefit of other Dopers who want to try out this suite.

This, at least, is false. The EULA for Student versions of Microsoft Office specifically disallows commercial use.

“Google plans to hire programmers to improve, a demonstration of its affinity for open source initiatives and one the company believes also shows sound practical sense”

Open source is truly a thing of beauty. If I were you, I’d keep an eye open for any open source alternatives for software you need, before you buy. Maybe you’ll buy the commercial one anyway, but (as you say) what’s the hurt in trying it our first. It’s free! (usually).
If you like Photoshop, check out the GIMP as a powerful, fully featured, FREE replacement.

Of course you know about Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.

And if you like audio editing/recording, check out Audacity!

How 'bout Avid Free DV to replace Adobe Premiere for video editing.

It goes on and on…

      • At the same time, I have read from multiple locations online that EULAs are essentially unenforceable–at least in the USA. The only condition of the publisher that applies at all is upon the initial transfer between the publisher and the reseller. The publisher has no means to force any contractual obligation upon end-users at all, aside from witholding consequential (ongoing) services, like product updates. If MS sells software to a wholesaler on the condition that the wholesaler only sell copies of it to guys named Lenny, and the wholesaler sells you a copy even though your name is Maurice, MS can’t do anything to the end-user. Their legal battle is with the reseller–not Maurice.
  • This is said to be the reason that MS will refuse to allow updating pirated copies of WindowsXP, but will not take steps to completely disable pirated copies. If you are using a pirated/hacked serial number, MS very well knows about it–but to have a solid legal basis for disabling pirated copies by remote-administration, MS would have to be able to prove that not only did you not buy it in a voluntary transaction from them, but that you did not buy it in a voluntary transaction from any of their resellers as well. Since they can’t prove that in any cost-effective method, they can’t shut pirated copies down.

I’ve read in multiple locations online that income taxes are unconstitutional and don’t have to be paid, that aliens are in control of our govermnent, and multiple conflicting version of “<insert religion here> is absolute divine truth and <insert all other religions here> is therefore false.” Doesn’t make it so.

If EULAs weren’t contracts, we wouldn’t have them. First of all, software is licensed, not sold. The doctrine of first sale indicates that you’re free to pass the disks on to whomever you like, but they have to agree to the terms of the contract, too.

Second, you’ll specifically be asked to agree to the terms when you install the software: these have been tested and generally found enforcable: if EULAs weren’t enforcable, how do you explain all the lawsuits? The BSA extorts (sorry, “enforces”) money from lots of businesses every year bases solely on the enforcability of EULAs.

Third, Microsoft holds the copyright on Office. Therefore, they’re allowed to control who gets to copy it onto their machine, and under what terms. Again, an awful lot of copyright infringment cases every year demonstrate that this can be done.

I’ve worked for software publishers for years, and I assure you that care goes into crafting those EULAs specifically to make sure the terms ARE enforcable. Certainly there have been a number of cases where they have been found not to be enforcable (usually because of some way of bypassing the “I agree” clause), but I believe you’ll find they’re the exception, not the rule.

As a general rule, businesses do tend to go after retailers rather than end users, but that’s just because it’s more effective to stop the problem at the source, not because they aren’t allowed to challenge end users. And in this case, it will say in three places at least that commercial use is not allowed: on the packaging under “terms of use”, in the EULA, and implied in the “Student Media Only” on the disk.

On reading my previous post, I notice that it subtly implies I work for Microsoft with that “we” in there.

I don’t work for Microsoft. I meant “we software developers in general.”