Microsoft to Charge for Office Betas

By Dave

Microsoft can’t handle giving out their software betas for free anymore, so they are going to start charging $1.50 US for beta version of Office 2007. Starting August 2nd, anyone wanting to download the beta software will have to pay this small fee.

The company claims this is the result of the success of the trial – 3m people have downloaded the software – so Microsoft needs to charge to cover server costs.

A statement sent to the Reg reads: “We are thrilled with the incredible excitement around the upcoming 2007 Microsoft Office system as evident by more than 3m people using the beta 2 since its release two months ago.

“Having exceeded our beta 2 participation goals by 500 per cent, we have had to make the business decision to implement a cost recovery measure for future downloads of beta 2 beginning 2 August, 2006.”

I think that this is pathetic. Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in the world, needs to charge millions of people $1.50 a piece to recoup bandwidth costs? I think that paying $1.50 is just enough for me to say skip the beta. What about you?

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