Microsoft offering Office 2007 for rent on a monthly basis

Microsoft has expanded its Office rental trial in South Africa to include Office 2007. Microsoft will make Office 2007 available for 199 rand ($28.54) for a three-month subscription. Would you be interested in renting Office for a monthly fee?

Looks like Microsoft's intial pilots of pay-as-you-go pricing for Office were successful.

Microsoft has expanded its Office rental trial in South Africa to include Office 2007. Microsoft will make Office 2007 available for 199 rand ($28.54) for a three-month subscription, according to a Reuters report. First-time users willg et an extra three months for free, Reuters said. (Thanks to Bink.nu for the link to the Reuters story.)

Microsoft has been testing pay-as-you-go schemes for Office 2003 in several developing countries, including South Africa, company officials said earlier this year. At that time, Microsoft officials said the Office rental trials were also in full-swing in Mexico and Romania. Back in January, Microsoft was planning to decide "in the next couple of months" whether to extend the program to include Office 2007.

I've asked Microsoft whether it plans to extend this program and offer Office 2007 on a subscription basis in other countries. Stay tuned.

Update: A Microsoft spokeswoman got back to me on July 18. It looks like the rental program mentioned in the Reuters story is still a pilot, not final.  Her statement:

"The Office (2007) pre-paid is a pilot and was launched in South Africa and Romania. Microsoft will evaluate its business to determine where and when to expand the program. Additional markets have yet to be determined."

Meanwhile, would you be interested in renting Office -- or any other Microsoft app -- on a monthly basis? Why or why not?

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