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Microsoft says college students can 'steal' Office

Software maker offers its highest-end version to students for $60 as part of its "Ultimate Steal" promotion.

For college students who want Office 2007, but don't want to pay Microsoft a fortune, the software maker is offering another option: Steal it.

Well, actually Microsoft isn't encouraging piracy. Rather it is launching a promotion, dubbed in which college students can get the ultra high-end Ultimate edition of Office for just $60.

The promotion runs through April 30 and starts Wednesday in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. It launches next week in France, Italy and Spain. To be eligible, Microsoft said students have to be "actively enrolled" in a higher education program and have an e-mail address from that school.

"We're listening to students who have told us they need Microsoft Office for their studies and want more flexible ways to get the latest version," Alan Yates, general manager of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, said in a statement. "The Ultimate Steal is the latest in a long history of providing compelling academic offers for students."

Microsoft tried the promotion earlier this year as a pilot program in Australia, before deciding to offer it in the U.S.