How to get the full version of Office 2008 for Mac cheap

Microsoft produces a very nice, handy student/teacher edition of Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac at a bargain price. There’s only one thing: it doesn’t include the full version of Entourage. Instead, the version which it ships in the Home/Student edition doesn’t include support for Exchange servers – it’s POP and IMAP only.

If you want the full version, you’ll need to buy the full version of Office – and in the UK, that’s the difference between £100 and £300, which for something as simple as Exchange support doesn’t seem worth the money.

However, there may be another way you can get Office more cheaply, with support for Exchange. If you own any of the programmes in the Office suite, going back to Office v.X, you’re eligible for an upgrade, which Amazon is currently selling for about £180. Not quite as little as the Home/Student edition, but still better than full price.

You don’t need the whole of Office – just a single application will do. And what’s more, you’re even eligible if you own a copy that you got as part of a bundle with other products or services. In my case, my Exchange provider includes a copy of Entourage 2004 as part of the service, which means I was eligible for a cut-price update to 2008.

Better yet, even if you only own one of the products in Office, the update gives you all of them – so from my single licensed copy of Entourage 2004, I ended up with full copies of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage.