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May 19, 2010 / douglasac

An Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

As you may or may not know, I recently asked your Australian counterparts regarding the availability of Office 2010 Professional Academic via Twitter:

You then responded thusly:

Question One: WTH is the INC offer? I didn’t bother to ask as it took five days to respond to my initial tweet (which is mediocre if you ask me), and question two: why not release it in Australia initially?

Australia, if you’re not aware, isn’t a backwards country where we ride kangaroos around, all live on farms and are all Crocodile Dundee. Far from it, in fact. We love our technology. We love it a lot. Yet you and many other technology companies a) neglect us completely or b) price gouge and make a tidy profit (Ohaithar, Adobe!).

Now, I’ve been using the Office 2010 Beta for a few months now. I like it. In fact, I love it (although it irks me how Publisher always seems to be a generation or two behind feature wise, you should look into that), and had you have released the Professional AE here initially, I may have considered snogging you and would most certainly have let you have my money unquestioningly. Especially if you sold it here for AUD$99, or even AUD$150. I’d buy that.

But, alas, you’ve determined that Australia is not worthy of this wonderful offer “to begin with”. Which then inspires the next question: why?

I can tell you right now that many university students would be queuing up for this. Hell, a lot of High School students would be as well, especially in senior years when they tend to get their own laptops. Instead, though, you’re offering the Home and Student to us, though. Sure, it may have three licenses, but it’s missing out on a couple of the programs I use regularly, one on a daily basis: Outlook and Publisher.

So, please release it in Australia. And soon. And don’t do an Adobe, and be nice to us and charge a reasonable price (i.e. AUD$99-150). Otherwise you will find students turning to either a) Staying on 2007 (which is sucky in comparison), b) Pirating it (which hurts you) or c) Importing it from overseas (which hurts local retailers, which is something I am against unless strictly necessary).

And before you say shipping costs increase the price, my boxed copy of Office 2007 came from Singapore. If anything, US prices should be higher than Australian ones, as Singapore à US > Singapore à Australia distance-wise.


Much love,



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