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Microsoft is offering software pirates half-price Office subscriptions

Office 365 vs G Suite
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft is offering its cloud-based collaboration (opens in new tab) suite to pirates for a heavily discounted price. As reported by Bleeping Computer (opens in new tab), the Redmond software giant is offering a 50% discount on Microsoft 365 to users of pirated Office programs.

Pirates have allegedly spotted a notification under the top menu in some Office programs (opens in new tab) advertising "GET UP TO 50% OFF. For a limited time, save up to 50% on a genuine Microsoft 365 subscription." 

Clicking on the link sends the user to a Microsoft 365 landing page, where they can get their legitimate subscription, but also learn more about the dangers of using pirated software.

Pirate party

Besides risking exposure to malware, pirates are also at risk of identity theft (opens in new tab), as well as file corruption and data loss, with Microsoft adding that pirates don’t get access to critical updates.

Any users that sign up will receive the 50% discount at checkout, over the first year of an annual Microsoft 365 Family subscription ($99.99 per year). It’s applied for up to six users, and 6TB of cloud storage. The discount is also available for Microsoft 365 Personal subscribers ($69.99 per year), for one person and 1TB of storage.

Fixing errors

Some pirates who decide to pay for the subscription may still see the notification, the reports claim. Microsoft says these users should completely uninstall Office, to remove all traces of the pirated version, before installing a clean, legitimate one. 

The news comes shortly after it was revealed Microsoft was changing how it charged corporate customers for Microsoft 365. Although still unconfirmed by the company, it seems the plan is to increase the cost by 20% for users who pay on a month-to-month basis, essentially forcing them into a yearly subscription. 

Furthermore, users would no longer be able to save money by canceling the subscription. Even if they cancel the subscription, they would still be charged for the remainder of the year.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.