Take care buying Office with a new computer

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A story in the UK’s Daily Telegraph got us thinking about some of the traps when buying Microsoft Office with a new computer.

The Telegraph reader bought a new computer and was told by staff that Office 2007 wasn’t supported on the new computer.  The reader was sold, as a replacement, an Office 365 Personal subscription for three years ‘a discounted annual cost of £40’.

Office-Watch.com is always looking for traps when buying MS Office and this article mentions a few:

Buying Office 365 for three years?

It seems to be common for stores to sell multiple years of Office 365 subscription to customers.  That makes sense for the store because Microsoft is most likely to get the renewal income directly, bypassing retailers.  Selling more than one year of Office 365 gets more money for the retailer, instead of Microsoft.

That can be a good thing for the customer, depending on the price for each year of Office 365.  You can save money doing buying at a discount instead of paying full price direct to Microsoft.

Microsoft’s own rules for Office 365 let customers buy up to five years of Office 365 use at any time.  So selling three years of Office 365 Personal is OK, if the price is right.

The official retail price for Office 365 Personal is £59.99 but it can be had for about £44 retail.  Office 365 Personal for £40 a year is a good deal, perhaps an ever better deal if Microsoft raises UK prices.

Office 2007 compatibility with Windows 10

According to Microsoft itself, Office 2007 is compatible with Windows 10.

It’s the oldest version of MS Office that’s officially compatible with Windows 10, though many readers report no problems with Office 2003 or Office XP either.

The distinction made by the retailer (a large UK based tech retailer) is between Windows 10 compatibility (which the customer wanted to know) and Microsoft’s support policy.  Using the support policy is in the retailer’s self-interest and Microsoft’s.

Naturally, Microsoft and software retailers would prefer you bought the new product but that’s their self-interest, not necessarily yours.

Office 2007 is out of Microsoft’s mainstream support so there’s no more new/changes features and effectively no bug fixes. ‘Extended Support’ ends on 10 October 2017 when even security updates and paid support from Microsoft will cease.  This applies to Office 2007 in it’s various forms but only with Service Pack 3 and later patches installed (that’s important if you’re reinstalling from a CD, as the Telegraph reader did).

The changing status of Office 2007 from Microsoft makes no difference to whether Office 2007 is compatible with Windows 10. Feel free to use Office 2007, if you’re happy to use software that won’t get security patches from later next year.

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