walterbyrd writes with a warning: "Microsoft is pushing Office 2007 with 'try-before-you-buy.' Please don't let your friends and relatives install Microsoft 'trial' software. When Microsoft tells you 'try-before-you-buy,' the 'buy' part is not meant to be an option. Once you 'try' a Microsoft 'upgrade' you can not easily go back, because your files will be replaced by new versions that you need the new software to read." The ChannelRegister article also notes how Microsoft's push goes against the grain of the consumer revolt against "crapware." Read on for an account of walterbyrd's experience with a previous Microsoft trial upgrade.
I remember when my brother-in-law decided to try Office-2003. It was a complete mess. I didn't think I'd ever get it fixed. Here is the story:
Office-2003 installed over his Office-2000. His Outlook-2000 email was reformatted to the new-and-improved Outlook-2003. And Outlook-2003 format is incompatible with everything except Outlook-2003. So when his trial period was over, he could no longer access his email — unless he wanted to buy Office-2003.
Of course, I could not fully remove the "trial" version of Office-2003. Once Office-2003 has been installed, it can not overwritten with an earlier version of Office. Also, you cannot remove Office-2003 and re-install Office-2000, unless you know how to hack the registry. And you can not easily install Office-2000 and Office-2003 on the same PC.
What I eventually did to correct the situation:
- Signed up for my own trial version of Office-2003
- Used my trial version to import my brother-in-law's email file
- Saved my brother-in-law's email in another format
- Backed up his data
- Wiped his HDD
- Restored everything
In fairness, I have not used the trial version of Office-2007. But, after my experience with the trial version of Office-2003, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Please make sure your friends don't touch it either.