Microsoft invites people to pirate Office by offering a 50% discount

Microsoft invites people to pirate Office by offering a 50% discount

As much as we might advise against it, it’s no secret that tons of people run pirated versions of Microsoft Office. It’s one of the most common tools used for school and work, and many people can’t afford or simply choose not to buy a genuine copy. Now, Microsoft is taking an interesting approach to combating piracy — it’s offering pirates a 50% discount on a Microsoft 365 subscription.

First reported by Ghacks, users of pirated versions of Office 2019 started seeing a banner just below the ribbon bar, offering the aforementioned 50% discount on Microsoft 365. The discount applies to both Personal and Family subscriptions, meaning you can get a year of Microsoft 365 Personal for just $35, or the Family variant for $50, which grants the benefits of the subscription to up to 6 people.


While this offer may seem like a way to entice pirates to switch to a legal version of Microsoft 365, it seems more likely that it will tempt those without a subscription to install a pirated version so they can get a discount they wouldn’t otherwise. The link in the Office app takes users to this page, but no discount is applied if you attempt to open it in a different way.

Microsoft 365 Family 50% discount in India

Imade credit: Ghacks

To add to that, Microsoft 365 is a subscription service that’s billed every year, and with prices coming back to normal after the first year, there’s a good chance that users who took the discount will just go back to using their pirated versions of Office afterward. In the end, this may come off as a reward for pirates who aren’t really going to change their behavior once the annual subscription ends.

On the other hand, since Microsoft 365 is renewed automatically, the offer may be enough to get some customers to sign up for auto-renewal and forget to cancel it later. It’s also possible that customers will be enticed by the cloud storage offering included with Microsoft 365, which can’t be pirated in the same way the Office apps can. If they use that storage during the subscription, they may want to renew it to continue having access to their files.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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