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Microsoft to Charge for Office Beta 190

theodp writes "Beginning next Wednesday, those who download the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 will be charged $1.50 per download, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman." From the article: "Although Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group decided to initiate a fee for new users of Beta 2, the "technical refresh," or update, for current users of the software will remain free, the spokeswoman said. Those who want to test drive Beta 2 to review how it works can access the software for free. But if they need to test it against their internal systems, a download or the CD is required. "
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Microsoft to Charge for Office Beta

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  • Yaaaaarrr (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2006 @02:25AM (#15804408)
  • Re:Not just $1.50 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @03:43AM (#15804662)
    Some credit card companies have a small program which gives you a temporary Credit Card Number which is only usable once online.

    I have been using it for years. However, those numbers primarily protect the card issuer by reducing fraud. They don't do anything to protect your privacy - you still use must use your real name, real phone number and real billing address.

    And, to meander far off topic -- the numbers are good for only one merchant, not only one charge - the first merchant to bill it gets a "lock" that prevents any other merchants from billing it. So you can pay for subscription services with one charge number. You can even increase the limit and expiration date after the fact.

    But, in my experience the only personally valuable use is to prevent automatic charging like you described, that's a good thing for me. For example - giganews does not offer a monthly service, you can only sign-up for an account that auto-renews each month. Since their retention is 90 days or so, I don't need continuous service. So, I give them a card# good for one month, they try to renew and fail and put my account on hold. When I am ready to start using them again, I just give them a new card# good for another month. I end up getting effectively a whole year's worth of service for about half the price by only renewing every other month.

    It's also good for those magazine subs where the first year is $1 but the subsequent ones are full cover price and they would normally automatically bill you for the renewal without asking. Some of them are so shady that they won't even honor unsubscribe requests, taking them on the phone and then pretending they never got them. They can't pull that stunt if you pay with one of these numbers instead.
  • Action Pack (Score:3, Informative)

    by DavidD_CA ( 750156 ) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @04:05AM (#15804724) Homepage
    It should be noted that subscribers of MSDN and Action Pack were recently shipped DVDs for Office 2006 and Vista, as part of their subscription.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken