Microsoft is offering a discount price on Microsoft 365 to people with pirated or illegal Microsoft Office. As usual with Microsoft, there are ‘gotchas’ and unknowns with their special offer.
People using illegal or pirated Microsoft Office might be seeing a message like this in their Office apps.
The message is:
Get up to 50% off
For a limited time, save up to 50% on a genuine Microsoft 365 subscription. Terms apply.
Clicking the ‘Learn More” takes you to this page or local version in your part of the world. But that page doesn’t have any more details about the offer.
Offer warning signs
We’ve seen plenty of Microsoft offers over the years and know to be wary, checking the fine print. There are three warning signs on this offer page
Eligible customers – who are ‘eligible’?
Up to 50% – the key words are ‘up to’. Perhaps not everyone will be offered half-price but something less?
Fine Print – there isn’t any! At least nothing that explains what an “eligible customer*” is. We’ve copied the literal fine print (small and faint12px size text) below.
The offer is for Microsoft 365 Family or Personal only. Even if the pirated software you’re using is the single payment/perpetual licence Office 2016, 2019 or Office 2021.
That’s not surprising because Microsoft’s main push is their ‘subscription’ annual payment products which are much more profitable than the single price versions.
You are not eligible for the offer
We tried, in different ways, to see how this offer actually works. Who is eligible and what the real discount is? No matter what we tried all we could get was “Sorry, you are not eligible for this offer”.
The Fine Print
To save you squinting your eyes, here’s the fine print at the bottom of the offer page as bullet points instead of one long paragraph in small 12px font.
- Limited time offer.
- Discount applies to the first year of an annual Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription.
- Credit card required.
- After the first year, subscription continues to be charged at the regular yearly price plus applicable taxes, unless cancelled.
- Cancel any time to stop future charges in your Microsoft account.
- Existing Microsoft 365 subscribers are not eligible.
- Offer only valid for original recipient and cannot be transferred or redeemed to another Microsoft account.
- Cannot be combined with other offers.
- Limit 1 offer per Microsoft account.
Nothing in the fine print defines what an “eligible customer*” is.
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