Here’s an odd promotion from Microsoft: for the next few months, college students can buy the most complete version of Office 2007 for $59. The Office Ultimate 2007 suite includes Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Groove, and InfoPath, with a normal retail price of $679.

This is even better than the Office 2007 Home and Student Edition that has Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote, selling for about $140. The Home Edition is far and away the best-selling version of Office at retail, accounting for about 80% of retail sales. (But remember, most people get Office pre-installed on new computers – that’s where the real volume is.)

The license for the Home Edition says it can’t be used in an office and should only be purchased by students or parents, but there’s no real mechanism to enforce that. The “Ultimate Steal” promotion has stricter requirements. Only enrolled college students taking more than half a credit can purchase the license, and only if the student has an e-mail address from the college ending in .edu. Microsoft has the right to hire people to demand documentation – and if you don’t have the documentation to prove that you’re a current student, you’re on the hook for the rest of the $679.

If you really are a college student, this is a tremendous deal on great software. Don’t go near it if you don’t meet the requirements!

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