Running a pirated copy of Office could earn you a discount on a Microsoft 365 subscription

Microsoft Office icons

For fairly obvious reasons, Microsoft -- like other companies -- would much rather people did not pirate its software. The major concern for any software producer is the loss of income, and Microsoft has come up with a solution for people running pirated versions of Office.

Citing various benefits, including avoiding the risk of security issues, Microsoft is urging pirates to take out a Microsoft 365 subscription. To sweeten the deal, the company is offering a discount on the usual price.

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Microsoft's subscription model means that is fairly easy for the company to identify pirated versions of its software, and it has been using banner messages to target users of unlicensed copies of Office. News of the banner was first reported by Ghacks, and it offers pirates a Microsoft 365 subscription at an incredible half price.

The banner, visible in Office 2019 and other versions of the Office suite, reads:

Get up to 50% off. For a limited time, save up to 50% on a genuine Microsoft 365 subscription

Clicking through to the linked page, users are warned:

Pirated software exposes your PC to security threats

Risks of using counterfeit software:

- Exposure to virus and malware attacks​​

- Corrupted files and data loss

- Inability to receive critical updates or edit files

A further banner at the top of the page advertises a "limited offer" which enables "eligible customers" to get a 50 percent discount. Microsoft does not make it immediately apparent what the terms of eligibility are, but does point out that the discount is only applicable to the first year of subscription.

News of the offer for pirates comes as CNBC reports that the price of subscriptions could be set to increase by 20 percent for business users who want to stick with monthly rather than annual subscription payments.

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