Microsoft Slashes Office XP Prices

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-28 Print this article Print

The company claims its decision to cut software prices, including those of its Office XP family, is a "customer-driven move," not motivated by the Linux/open-source threat.

Microsoft Corp. has begun dropping the prices of some of its flagship software products, starting with the Office XP family. The Redmond, Wash., software company on Wednesday will announce that it is cutting retail prices by between 15 percent and 30 percent on a number of products in its Office XP product family. Microsoft is cutting the retail price of both the Standard and Professional Office XP products by some 15 percent, while also dropping the price for stand-alone applications like Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002 and Access 2002 by some 30 percent.
Retail pricing before the cuts was $479 for the Office XP Standard Edition and $579 for the Professional Edition. The price reductions take effect Wednesday in the United States and Canada; they will also be rolled out globally.
While Microsoft has not announced or finalized the pricing for its upcoming Office 2003 family of products, "quite frankly we dont expect retail pricing to change from these new prices," Dan Leach, the lead product manager for Office, told eWEEK in an interview. That would effectively mean that customers who buy copies of Office 2003 through the retail channel when it becomes available late this summer will pay some 15 percent less than what Office XP cost when it was first released. The latest pricing move is not a result of slipping sales, Leach said, as Microsofts financial statement for its third quarter shows that Office sales grew by 9 percent year-over-year, attributable to increased sales of Office XP. "We are always striving to make sure customers get the right software for their needs at an appropriate price," he said. "We want to give customers more options, bottom line. While we do take economic and other conditions into account, this is purely a customer-driven move to help price-conscious consumers benefit from the value of Office products."

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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