Microsoft offering Office 2007 for rent on a monthly basis

Microsoft offering Office 2007 for rent on a monthly basis

Summary: 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?

TOPICS: Microsoft

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 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?

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Extremely unlikely that I wouild rent any of their software.

    It would have to be a very unusual situation with very specific requirements before I would even think about renting anything from Microsoft. For the most part, that would be pointless.

    If someone is so hard up that they need to pay rent on software, it seems to me that the easiest route to take would be Open Office. I've used it and find that it works quite well.

    I guess if someone was doing some sort of contract work and they just HAD to use Word or something, it might make sense.
    • One reason

      Maybe and employer might pay for it. Better to pay 3 months rent for app than to pay full price only to have the employee leave. I've worked where employers gave us copies of Office to work at home. Might be better for the employer to rent in this situtation.

      You are right though. If I can't afford MS Office then I'd just use Open Office. It works well enough for being a free product.
    • I Agree, Renting Software Is Poor Value

      I would rather use Open Office than pay a monthly fee to use Microsoft Office. Why not charge a nickel per email to use Outlook?
  • Why rent when you can buy?

    MSOffice is expensive for sure but if you consider $120 per year the rental come out a bit more expensive. You'd be better off picking it up with a new PC. Prices are a little better then. Or cheat and go with educational if you can. I know a few places that don't even check if you're a student.
    • Cheating with the Home and Student Edition

      The 2007 version of the software plops a great big "NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE" across every document you create. I would not even think of using it in place of Office Standard.
      Confused by religion
      • Well that's nice to know

        Guess no point in buy Office Student edition. That sort of thing wouldn't look good on University projects so it's probably not useful to students either.
    • Soon you won't be able to buy

      I'm sure they are saying just the opposite at M$. Why milk the customer once every few years when you can stick it to them every month. Some business are so entrenched with Office that if M$ pulled out the carpet and forced them to pony up a monthly tribute, most would have to reluctantly pay. Don't think so, I can almost guarantee this is the future of Office.
      • I don't see a big change

        With software assurance you are paying yearly anyways. Not much of difference if you ask me.
        • I agree

          We pay an annual fee based on the average number of employees year. It does work well for our company. The other thing that paying "monthly or quarterly" may do is give software assurance as well and make a user entitled to the lastest and greates.
          Mik in IT
    • What a stupid question

      Why rent movies when you can buy the DVD's? Because you may not want to keep it. Simple. What if I occasionally use a word document program? Should I spend $400 to buy it when I can rent it for $28 for a whole month? Why not buy a car when you travel? Think before you ask another question.
  • What version of it

    Since there are multiple versions of Office 2007 available the worthiness of the deal is debatable. Office 2007 Home and Student edition is $114 on which the 28.54 for 3 months rental price after a year saves you about 7 dollars. If we are talking Office 2007 Standard then you would have paid for the full software after 2 years of the rental price and then it becomes worth it if MS comes out with a new version at that point and you wish to upgrade right away, for Office 2007 Pro at that rental price it is worth it since it would be 4 years before you have paid the price for that product and by then you most likely will be on the next version based on MS upgrade cycles for Office.

    That being said OpenOffice is still a better option if price is your reason for renting the software and you don't absolutely need MS Office for a specific reason.
  • Why?

    I would rather go back to the old days and pull out my pen and notepad than rent MS Office. Besides with free alternatives from Google, OpenOffice, why?
  • Why rent when you can avoid.

  • Not for me, not even for free

    I wouldn't rent it. In fact, I wouldn't want MS Office, even if they gave gave a legal copy of MS Office to me for free.
  • The sayings...

    ?a fool and his money are soon parted, or you can't cheat an honest man?;)

    You can create scenarios until the cows come home, still a non-starter for me.
  • You already do rent it

    so if the price is right, why not?
    Michael Kelly
    • RE:You already do rent it

      Bottle water or tap?
    • Technically yes

      Not for the home user but in the corporate world where you pay software assurance on yearly basis it is.
    • EVERY user is just "renting"

      What with all the constant "upgrades" and new versions, purchasing actually amounts to a 2-3 year rental fee upfront! ...Still living with office 97, and refusing to update at the prices they charge!

      I honestly don't know why business fall for always getting the latest versions. They are really not THAT
      • -continued nimble fingers hit the wrong key

        much more functional, after all!