Pay-As-You-Go Office 2003 Tested by Microsoft, 2007 Next?

Dennis Faas's picture

You've heard of pay-as-you-go cell phone plans and pay-per-view movies. It's proven a lucrative market for telecommunications companies and cable television services.

And now Microsoft is introducing something very similar with its distribution of Office 2003. That's right -- it's the old version -- not the new Word and Excel tools included in the fresh new versions of Vista now sitting on retailer shelves.

According to sources (and Microsoft themselves), there is a demand for this kind of program. It may work best in corporate environments where the necessary software is only needed once or twice a year, perhaps for tax filing purposes.

The pay-as-you-go Office program is already under way in some exotic international locations, such as South Africa, Mexico, and Romania. If it proves successful in these regions, Microsoft may just extend the idea to North America -- and maybe even with Office 2007. (Source:

Office 2003 isn't the first tool Microsoft has tested with the pay-as-you-go idea. For nearly a year it's been partnered with a host of tech big shots -- like Lenovo, Intel, and AMD -- in FlexGo, which allows users limited use of PCs via prepaid cards. (Source:

Right now, Office 2003 is being accessed with three month prepaid subscriptions. It includes any Office product from the 2003 time period, including Small Business, Student, and Teacher editions. The program is designed to immediately limit user abilities in the program once the three months are over, forcing them to anti-up at the original place of purchase.

Microsoft admits it's a new strategy in trying to get more people to use MS Office. However, with the cracks that will inevitably be applied to this kind of a program, we'll see just how long the idea lasts.

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