US students get Office 2007 for teh cheap!

If you’re a student in the United States with an email address ending in .edu, you can get Office Ultimate 2007 for just $59.95 USD. That’s an incredible deal considering the ERP on that SKU is about $679 USD. They call it “the ultimate steal“:

Seize the deal! Get Microsoft® Office Ultimate 2007 for just $59.95. It’s a total steal: save time and money with this premium offer. Office Ultimate 2007’s brand new features and fresh look will help you organize and get all your work done in the blink of an eye. The Ultimate Steal is finally here, so grab it now!

It sucks that the offer is open only to students south of the border. I guess students here in Canada will have to “steal” it the old fashioned way.

The other interesting part of the promo is the blogging contest. Write a blog post explaining how to you plan to use Office for your academic studies, and you could win a spring break getaway, an American Express gift card, or an Xbox 360 Elite console. Again, open only to students in the USA.

Come on Microsoft Canada, how come we don’t have cool promos like this?!

UPDATE: Disregard everything about Canada in the above text! Apparently this offer is available in Canada, and a bunch of other countries too. Their website strategy is shitty though, because the .com site totally doesn’t make that clear. The press release clearly states Canada however. I should have tried this earlier, but here it is: Cost is $64 to buy, $22 to subscribe for a year.

UPDATE 2: Okay, either I was totally blind today, or they just added this sometime this afternoon, but there are little flag icons on the top of the website. Maybe their website strategy isn’t so shitty after all! I/O error I guess…anyway, wicked deal for students, and it lasts until April 30th, 2008.

Read: the ultimate steal

Integrated Launch Day for Vista, Office, Exchange?

Post ImageMicrosoft sure seems to like integrated launch dates! I guess it works for them though – my recollection of the Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 launch day is that went very well and generated good press coverage for both applications (and not surprisingly, highlighted how well they work together).

There’s a story floating around today that Microsoft will ship Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Exchange 2007 on December 5th. Apparently ZDNet have since taken down the article, and it isn’t clear why. Hence the question mark in the title of this post. I do think an integrated launch for the applications would be a smart idea though!

Here are some related news articles from today:

Wake up Microsoft – get BitTorrent!

Post ImageEven though Microsoft has lots of money, sometimes there are better ways to solve problems than just throwing cash at them. It seems Microsoft is bent on only delivering software from their own servers, when really, they could be using BitTorrent. It would keep them from making stupid decisions like this:

Microsoft plans next week to charge a nominal fee for Office 2007 Beta 2 downloads, in a move that runs counter to the practice held by most software companies.

Consumers who download the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 will be charged $1.50 per download, beginning next Wednesday at 6 p.m. PDT, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

Wake up and smell the coffee! BitTorrent, or even services like RedSwoosh (if Microsoft felt better about paying something for the service) would eliminate these problems. And as a downloader, I’d prefer them anyway, because I can download faster in most cases.

Please don’t pay the $1.50 to download the beta – it’ll only encourage this ridiculous behaviour!

Read: CNET

Office 2007 Announced

Post ImageMicrosoft announced yesterday some new details on Office 12, which will officially be named Office 2007. Most interestingly, pricing will not change significantly, and the Student & Teacher edition is being replaced by a Home and Student edition. There are lots of new features in Office 12, which is probably why Microsoft’s Parri Munsell described it as “the most significant advance in over a decade.”

Munsell said the new Office will offer a bevy of new features, including an all-new user interface and new XML-based file formats.

Microsoft released an initial beta of Office 2007 in November, with a second beta planned for this spring.

I can see why people think Microsoft has confusing marketing. They describe both Vista and Office 2007 as the most significant releases in a decade, yet they don’t qualify that. Office 2007 is a significant release in terms of user interface, but not too much else (XML file formats aside). Vista on the other hand is a significant release in terms of “under the hood” (despite the new 3D capabilities, it looks more or less like Windows XP).

You’ve got to pay attention with Microsoft lately, they seem to throw around the cliches and superlatives like there’s no tomorrow!

Read: CNET