Oh My Goodness… How Cheap can Microsoft Get?

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: March 9th, 2007

Microsoft released its Office 2007 product in February, and it seems to be taking pretty well with our customers (better than Vista is anyway). A couple weeks ago we received our first shipment of OEM Office 2007 software for installation on new Modular computers.

We were shocked to find that Microsoft is shipping Office 2007 OEM in an empty amaray case! When you crack it open to install the software, all that is present is a small cardboard card with an activation code – a license. OEM installers are now required to download the trial software from the Microsoft website, install the trial, and then activate it using the provided code.


In the past, we have always told customers that when you buy software, you are buying a license to use that software, not the disc it comes on. We were also able to tell customers that in most cases, if you do not get a disc when you buy software, you should be suspect of the license’s validity.

Microsoft helped reinforce that concept when they started their Genuine Advantage program that touted security features that included fancy holographic discs. It seemed a bit odd that the software giant would depart from what was once a staple in their Genuine Advantage program.

Looking for a way to simplify the process, we purchased a retail copy of Office 2007 and then attempted to make copies of the CD for use in our office to make installations easier in our systembuilder environment. We When we tried to install from the disks however, we received an error message that we were not installing from a genuine software disk! So which way does Microsoft want it? Disk or no disk?

Let me just say, it certainly cheapens the perceived value of their software when a customer spends $400 for Office 2007 Professional and receives a piece of cardboard in an empty amaray case. “Here is your $400 software code, have a great day.”

  1. Josh the Aspie said on March 12th, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    And then what happens if you don’t plan on connecting that particular computer to the Internet? I know that for most people the Internet is assumed these days, but some people specifically choose not to install network hardware in order to have some of their hardware isolated from the Internet. While the OEM can temporarily install a card, that’s just more drivers that will never be used again. And what if the owner wants to reinstall the OS and the software? They’re then forced to buy (or cannibalize) network equipment, and install it in a computer they never intended to be on a network!

    And what happens when Microsoft suddenly decides to stop hosting the trial on line, when they come out with their next version of the software?

    What happens is that you’re forced to upgrade, paying yet more money.

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