Dear Bill

I live in London (near England) and would like to buy Microsoft Money and Microsoft Office. My preferred method of obtaining the goods would be to download these programs from your Web site and pay using a credit card.

A small discount to reflect the reduced administration costs, packaging and margin taken by the retailer would be nice but not essential.

However, when I attempt to buy these Microsoft products in the UK, I am redirected to third party Web sites (Amazon, Dabs, PC World etc) or I can delay the purchasing decision by downloading a 60 day trial version.

Buying the products from another outlet means that I have to do extra work just to make the order. This delay will be irritating and I might even consider using OpenOffice which I can download for free and start using now.

In fact, the only disadvantage of OpenOffice is that I anticipate my children handing in a piece of homework that Microsoft Word/PowerPoint/Excel is unable to convert correctly. Consequently their fantastic effort will receive a mark of zero and a detention as the teacher will not accept ‘But, Sir, my Dad is an OpenSource evangelist’ as a valid excuse.

Once I have ordered from Amazon, I then have to wait for the goods to be shipped, pray that Royal Mail doesn’t mislay them and the postman doesn’t leave the package unattended on my doorstep in the pouring rain (just because I didn’t tip him last Xmas).

When I finally receive the goods, I then have to unwrap a large box containing fresh air to finally get my hands on the CD-ROM. There is no hardcopy user guide included as all the product documentation is now available online.

Note that Microsoft Money only costs 20GBP so comes supplied in a smaller box with less fresh air than Microsoft Office which costs 90GBP and, obviously, comes in a larger box with more fresh air.

I would prefer any response from Microsoft to be in the form of a old fashioned handwritten letter instead of this new fangled email technology.

Kind regards

Norman Brightside (Mr.)