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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Over the years I’ve said some pretty uncharitable things about Microsoft Office, but it’s not the software I dislike — it’s the price. To my thinking, Microsoft continues to charge an unreasonable amount for a package that’s overkill for many users.

Okay, so what’s a reasonable price? This: For a limited time, and while supplies last, E-Tech Galaxy (via eBay) is offering Microsoft Office 365 Personal (1-year, 1-user) for $29.99 shipped. This version is for Windows and Mac and includes a tablet license. Regular price: $69.99.

I’m always a little leery of sharing Office deals from third-party vendors, as I’ve heard some horror stories about bogus licenses. And I’m not directly familiar with E-Tech Galaxy, though it’s hard to argue with the company’s eBay rating: 99.6 percent positive from over 30,000(!) customers. If you check the reviews, you’ll see plenty of happy buyers of this exact product.

The other caveat: I have no idea how much stock the vendor has. Hopefully more than 500 units, because at this writing, some 470 had been sold.

Office 365, of course, is Microsoft’s subscription version of Office. It includes not only Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but also OneNote, Outlook, a mess of OneDrive storage and some free Skype minutes every month. (What a weird inclusion, I’ve always thought.)

Needless to say, there are plenty of free alternatives to Office, including WPS Office and old-standby OpenOffice. But these don’t give you any kind of mail client, and Outlook really is the best (though practically only) desktop email manager currently available. Plus, a full terabyte of cloud storage is pretty sweet.

I still wouldn’t pay $70 annually for Office, but $30? That strikes me as a fair price. Of course, after your first year is up, you’ll have to pay full price for the next one — unless you can find another deal, that is. And, who knows, maybe Microsoft will wise up and lower Personal’s price for good?

HAHAHAHAHA. I slay me.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree this is a good deal for Office? Do you wish Microsoft would just let you buy the suite outright instead of making you subscribe to it? Or is there simply no point given all the freebie options out there?

Bonus deal: Calling all parents! If you have toddlers and some kind of iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch), you’ll dig this: For a limited time, iTunes is offering a collection of classic Winnie the Pooh animated shorts for free. That link will take you to “Stuck at Rabbit’s House.” Scroll down and you’ll see around nine other shorts to choose from. Each one runs only about 2 minutes, but all told you’ll get about 20 minutes’ worth of Pooh goodness.

Bonus deal No. 2: A portable LED work light that doubles as a mobile charger? Yes, please. Loftek is once again offering its cordless rechargeable LED 10-watt work light, this time for $50 shipped when you apply coupon code 5Q82NBJ3 at checkout. The light pumps out the equivalent of a 100-watt halogen bulb, and the battery has a USB port for recharging your phone while you work. Plus the little guy is just cute as the dickens.

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