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Microsoft tempts software pirates with 50 percent discount on Office

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Microsoft is trying to convert pirates into paid customers

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microsoft logo stock Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

In a bold bid to turn digital crooks away from a life of crime, Microsoft is offering a 50 percent discount on its Office suite to some people using pirated versions. Ghacks reports that a new message in the Office ribbon bar is appearing on pirated Office apps, tempting people with a 50 percent discount on a genuine Microsoft 365 subscription.

The message links to an official Microsoft website that claims “pirated software exposes your PC to security threats.” Microsoft warns Office pirates that they run the risk of running into viruses, malware, data loss, identify theft, and the inability to receive critical updates.

The 50 percent discount notification.
Image: Ghacks

The discount brings the price of a Microsoft 365 Family subscription down to just $49.99 for the first year, or $34.99 for a year of Microsoft 365 Personal.

Microsoft has used “get genuine Office” banners in its productivity suite for years, but it’s rare to see the software maker offer big discounts to convert pirates into paid customers. There doesn’t appear to be a discount for the perpetual $149.99 Office 2021 version, either. Like the rest of us, pirates are being persuaded to move to Office subscriptions instead, as Microsoft seeks to boost its subscriber numbers way beyond 50 million.