Users with a pirated version of Office are getting a discount offer for a Microsoft 365 subscription

Dec 3, 2021
Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is probably one of the most pirated software, besides Windows, of course. If you have a pirated version of Office, but want to buy a legit license, you maybe interested in this.

Pirated users of Office are getting a discount offer for a Microsoft 365 subscription

Microsoft is offering users with a pirated version of Office a discount for a Microsoft 365 subscription. A friend of mine shared the above screenshot with me, it is from Office 2019. If you look at the image closely, you will see a message near the ribbon bar. It says, "Get up to 50% off. For a limited time, save up to 50% on a genuine Microsoft 365 subscription".

Pirated office displays a discount offer for a Microsoft 365 subscription

Clicking the message opens this page in the default browser. The landing page educates the user about the risks involved in using pirated software, such as security threats, loss of data, the lack of support for updates, etc.

microsoft wants to turn office pirates into legitimate users by offering a steep discount

Note: You may have to change the URL to your Country's locale, to avail the prices in your currency.

Users with a pirated version of Office are getting a discount offer for a Microsoft 365 subscription

More importantly, the page also has a Microsoft Office 365 discount offer. You will need to sign in to your Microsoft account to see if you are eligible for the discount. It didn't work for me when I tried it, I'm not sure if it is because I've a genuine license tied to my account. I think it checks whether you clicked the link from the pirated copy of Office, but I can't say for certain. It worked for my friend, check the screenshot for reference.

microsoft 365 50 percent off

Once you verify the difference in the price, you may proceed to checkout to complete your purchase. Initially, I thought it might be a Black Friday discount offer, but it does not seem to be the case, as it is still working at the time of writing this article.

It is a bit surprising that the discount is for the cloud based service, and not the offline desktop suite which the user had pirated. Personally, I believe the latter is a better choice, as it you can use it for years, for a one-time fee. Not to mention, the advantage of being able to use the programs offline is a huge bonus.

Still, it's nice of Microsoft to try and turn pirates into legitimate customers. That said, I'm not sure if this offer is going to cause a change of heart among the sailors of the high seas. Depending on your spending power, a year's worth of Office 365, even at a 50% discount could be an unaffordable luxury.  People usually pirate stuff not because they don't want to pay for it, but mostly because they can't afford the asking price. I'm not judging mind you, having been in the same boat before I got a job, I can understand the choice, even though I don't support piracy. If you can afford it, buy it and support the developers. That's my motto, especially when it comes to video games.

That said, if you can't pay for Microsoft Office, you don't have to pirate it. You can still get nearly the same features for free, via Office Online, right from your web browser. I used the service for a few years, until I bought a cheap license for Office 2013 via a reseller. Or, you could just use a free and open source alternative like LibreOffice.

Do you prefer Microsoft 365 or the standalone Office suite?

Microsoft wants to turn pirates into legitimate customers, offers a discount for Microsoft 365
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Microsoft wants to turn pirates into legitimate customers, offers a discount for Microsoft 365
Microsoft is offering a 50% discount for Microsoft 365 subscription, to try and turn pirates to paying users.
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  1. Not a developer, just friendly neighborhood Spider-Man said on December 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    To note, we all should donate frequently to software products to ensure continued development.
    If we like our non-Microsoft or non-subscription products, companies and developers providing these still need financial support and we should factor that into our budgets.

    I do this where I can with Softmaker Office (rather, purchased the non-subscription product) and a few other products (Simple Mobile Tools). Developers gotta eat and all.

  2. Anonymous said on December 4, 2021 at 7:13 am

    I’m happy with Open Office.

    Surprised no one has mentioned the requirement to sign into your MS account and they will determine if you are using a genuine or pirated copy of 365.
    Even if they are giving you a discount, not sure I’d want MS to know I am using pirated software.

  3. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Subscriptions are a waste of money. LibreOffice is more than enough nowadays. No one should be paying yearly for something they probably use once in a while.

  4. Yanta said on December 3, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    $100 a year for office is just way over priced. With all the products that have gone subscription based I’d be up for several thoousands per year. All they did was push many to open source free alternatives, which tend to be better products any way.

    The only two paid products I have left are DVDFab Lifetime License and Office 2016. Once they make subscription the only option it will definitely be time to change.

  5. nealis said on December 3, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Used libreoffice for a while b/c my school MS office subscription ended a couple of years ago and I found it was frustrating to use. Cloud aspect of libreoffice is nonexistent or a joke, so it broke my workflow going for example from my Windows PC to my Ipad. There are also few very tutorial videos or webposts so you waste time trying to dig up instructions how to do things that was effortless in MS office.

    MS as a corporation is a$$hoe, but they know how to do office suites. Libreoffice ecosystem in comparison is archaic, the last straw was that it actually asked me to install Java runtime for some function, what a joke.

  6. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    The subscription price here in brazil, if you buy from MS, is INSANE. R$ 359,00/ a year, at half it would be… $180.
    The problem is that it’s really normal to get the same subscription on a box (yes..) at a store for $100 (and really the same, not grey market). Isn’t this the case on other countries?

  7. Yarr Yarr said on December 3, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Aaaand this offer is better than just use the latest pirated version exactly how? That “pirated versions are viruses” got old some 10 years ago. They’re not. Neither was windows loader, or amtlib.dll for photoshop. All lies. I remember creating an empty textfile in notepad and renaming it to amtlib.dll and all the AV scanners that Adobe had paid, flagged it as high-risk malware. Just like every office pirated versions get flagged as supermegamalicious by Microsoft “anti virus” program =) Hysterical. How about making a GOOD, ad-free, non-spying operating system first, Redmond? After that we can talk about giving you money for office.

  8. ULBoom said on December 3, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t use either but I’d use the standalone version if I had to. Otherwise, Libre is fine for my uses.

    This thing is really goofy. You need a MS account, have to be a new user, only good for the subscription version.

    I suppose the phone culture clowns in marketing are convinced if users pay less, they’re more likely to buy a “real” version. But these are pirates? Users who won’t be attracted by any of the terms?

    They know this and went ahead and did this anyway to check an initiative list box, maybe?

    Typical phoney thinking. “Gotta go…notifications beckon, they’re piling up. We meet same time next week!”

    Motion creates the illusion of progress.

  9. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Offer is for new subscribers only. I thought I could sneak a year of discounts in.

  10. Steve K. said on December 3, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Pirated software exposes your PC to Security Threats?

    Oh really? Legitimate (Microsoft) software even more so!
    Windows and MS Office are the most Bug infested and security flawed software on the planet,
    along with Adobe warez.

    Having worked for MS years ago, I can attest to the fact that Microsoft purposely releases buggy software for the purpose of patching every month or so. Remember Patch Tuesday?
    I spoke to a couple of coders/programmers who informed me that they were not permitted to code as they know how, but as Microsoft tells them to.
    Failure to comply would result in immediate termination.
    What a joke, huh?

    You may have bought and paid for your copy of Windows and Office, one way or another, BUT..
    you don’t own it. Microsoft does!

    1. John said on December 5, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      I would imagine that coders are told to code a certain way because they are contributing to large projects that serve hundreds of millions or billions of users and involve huge teams of coders worldwide stretching from decades before the tenure of the current coders to decades after it.

      Why does all that matter?

      It matters because there is a large possibility that someone who you’ve never met and who will not be able to contact you will need to look at your code, understand it, and alter it later on for patches or subsequent versions of the software. Just look at some of the stuff that’s still in Windows 10 that goes back to the 20th century if you click on the right sub-menus.

      Without a standard way of coding, the whole thing would get to be a Tower of Babel very fast. Standardizing keeps everything understandable across time, continents, projects, and years. I mean, sure, maybe people should in theory know different methods of coding and be able to interpret the way you do things even when all of that coding, but, even if they do, they could be very rusty with it or need a lot of time to try to determine what you were trying to do, which could be even harder than it would appear if your code was meant to do something and hook into code that no longer exists in the same way elsewhere in the program or OS. What’s cutting edge now might also be obscure and not really used in a decade or two, and left to a 20 year old to decipher.

      I mean, sure, there should also be comments within the code explaining some of what was intended, but I’m told these are often incomplete or missing entirely in a lot of software.

      If you train everyone in your company to do things the same way, there is an instant understanding that leads to more efficiency.

    2. Clairvaux said on December 3, 2021 at 10:25 pm

      > I spoke to a couple of coders/programmers who informed me that they were not permitted to code as they know how, but as Microsoft tells them to.

      That’s the way it is in all companies. Electricians or barristas are not permitted to work “as they know how”, either. They must obey orders. A business is not some hippy-fest where you do what you want, and you just happen to be paid at the end of the month.

      If you don’t like that, go freelance, and see if you can find clients “working as you know how”.

    3. RogerW said on December 3, 2021 at 2:10 pm

      Not to contradict the fact that most large corporations are dishonest to the core but this “I used to work for XXX so I know how shitty they are” rhetoric is just as cliched as “I have friends belonging to XXX community so I know how shitty they are”. Better invent some new material for the sake of coherence.

  11. beemeup5 said on December 3, 2021 at 7:43 am

    Both MS Office and LibreOffice are too bloated imo. If you want a fairly complete alternative office suite that’s not hundreds of MBs or even multiple GBs large, give Ability Office a try:

    Or if you just need a word processor, Atlantis Word Processor is seriously lightweight yet very feature rich:

    It’s not like I don’t have the space to install huge programs, but I simply prefer efficient software.
    I also avoid “subscription” software out of principle, so if I ‘had’ to use MS Office, I’d always choose Office 2010 or 2019 over Office 365.

    1. Trey said on December 4, 2021 at 5:45 am

      Thanks beemeup5

    2. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks for the alternatives. There’s really no reason to use Office anymore. It has become bloatware and subscription based nonsense. I stay way from any software that goes this route.

    3. ULBoom said on December 3, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      Hmmm, never heard of either. Interesting. I’ll take a look.

  12. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 6:30 am

    In this case I disagree with “People usually pirate stuff […] because they can’t afford the asking price”. Because as you mention at the end, there are open source alternatives. Free, more ethical, no spying you, no anti-piracy malware.

    1. Anonymous said on December 3, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      they probably dont know, i mean ms stuff usually shown in ads, computer shop banner & etc. not so much for those that you mention, heck i never seen em in any media publicly.

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