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The Problem with Microsoft Office (Premium)

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I often get advertising masquerading as news in the Google Discovery feed that I read every day on my iPad and phone. And one of the ads/stories I see the most often is how I can buy a “lifetime license” to Microsoft Office for just $39 or whatever low price. I always shake my head and move on, but after seeing such an ad this morning, something occurred to me. Several somethings.

First, in case it’s not obvious, what’s being offered there is what Microsoft calls a “perpetual” license to the desktop Office suite. Which I would imagine is normally the newest version, called Office 2021. This is a one-time purchase---it’s not a monthly or annual subscription like Microsoft 365---but it can only be installed on one PC (or Mac) at a time. And you just get the classic desktop apps---Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access in most cases---with no upgrade rights. You’re on that version forever or you can pay full price when a new version comes out. (Full price is anywhere from $150 to $500, depending on the product edition.)

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