Microsoft is cutting the price of Office and offering the free versions of Word, Excel, and other programs to head off competition from Google and other rivals that offer similar software at little or no cost.
Microsoft has so many promotions for Office that its effective price is $100, down from $150, and even lower in such countries as Brazil and India. But the experience is sparking optimism at Microsoft about the new strategy. The company says unit sales of Office surged 415% in the second half of last year.
The most aggressive price cut has come in China, where Microsoft says 95% of Office installations have been pirated. Since it began testing a $29 offer in China last September, sales have soared more than 800%. Now Microsoft intends to make the low price permanent.
This sure looks like a case of where crime pays big dividends.
How much does it cost in your country?