Microsoft Office, depending on the version you buy, can cost hundreds of dollars. Microsoft Outlook can easily set you back around $100.
“Competing” office suites, many free, such as Open Office, Zoho, Google Docs and Word Perfect, are often touted as replacements for Microsoft Office.
However, you and I know that although these tools are useful and do work (in fact I’m using Google docs more and more) it’s not what “everyone else is using” so the issue of full compatibility and simply the learning curve (no matter how flat it might be) is a factor in millions of businesses and professionals around the world, still wanting Microsoft Office.
Of course ensuring that you are in the best licensing program for your business, will help reduce the cost significantly, but there is still a steep investment you’ll have to make in software purchases, especially once you have 20, 50 and 80 employees.
The tendency some businesses tend to do is therefore steal the software. Buying one version and installing it on several computers or borrowing an Office CD from someone, installing it on their computer(s) and then returning it.
There’s two problems with not purchasing licenses software. The first problem is, that it is illegal. You could run into trouble with the Business Software Alliance and be fined.
The second problem is that sometimes you might indeed purchase software that is real cheap (or even free). However, what you don’t know is that this software is riddled with malware or viruses.
Check out this video of victims of illegally purchased software:
If you want to learn more about the dangers of purchasing software from an illegitimate reseller read here.