Shortly after I publish this post, Microsoft will kickstart a campaign called The Ultimate Steal where Office Ultimate 2007 will be sold to students for a ridiculous 59 (retail is closer to 600). This is one of the best things Microsoft could do for students. Granted most of my classmates pirated Office 2007, use Google Docs or use OpenOffice, had Office 2007 been priced under 100, things would have been much different. Heck, I'm so stoked about this I want to buy it and I don't even have a Windows box.
Beginning Sept. 12, Microsoft will launch a special Web-based promotion exclusively for students called The Ultimate Steal. Students who are actively enrolled at eligible educational institutions will be able to acquire Office Ultimate 2007 via the Web at the low student price of US59.95. Calling this promotion "The Ultimate Steal" is spot on when you consider that this is a savings of over 90 percent of the retail price of Office Ultimate 2007. The retail price is what students might think they would have to pay, when much lower pricing such as this has been available to students for many years.
Microsoft Press Release
Remarkably, this isn't just a one day ploy - it will run through April 2008! To the best of my knowledge, all you need to prove that you're a student is a working .edu email address. However, for now the Ultimate Steal is only for students in the United States, Canada and the UK.
Hopefully this promotion will act as a precedent for other companies with expensive software also largely used by students - MATLAB, Maple, AutoCAD anyone? Large price cuts have historically worked well with Apple reportedly having iPhone sales boosted three-fold after a recent price drop. Do you have any plans to take part in The Ultimate Steal?