Re: Pay for? Or severe bugs?
Option 3: It has a data loss bug and they've temporarily pulled it until they can fix it.
That is implausible, given past behaviour.
Anyone remember the Access-corrupts-its-own-database bug? Something (may have been db too large, may have been multiple network access combined with race hazards and a non-ACID db, may have been the phase of the moon) caused it to randomly scramble data. That one was present for years.
I watched (from a safe distance) a 2-man start-up go under because of that one. They'd sunk their life savings into it, and were hit by it shortly before they were due to launch (and shortly before they were due to run out of savings). Ever seen two middle-aged men cry? Microsoft support's answer (paraphrased): "Access is a toy. It's not for serious use. If you want a serious db you have to buy SQL Server."
Anyone remember the Word self-corrupting documents bug? I ran into that one in 2006(ish) when somebody persuaded me to try Word to produce a complex document (footnotes, bibliographic references, cross-references, etc.) rather than the tool I'd normally use because Word had "improved so much." All went well enough, although I found it tedious and time-consuming to use Word's UI compared with LaTeX's embedded mark-up. All went well until I'd done 7 or 8 hours' work. I scrolled up to check something I'd written earlier and noticed a paragraph-sized hole in the text. Thought it was a redraw bug, scrolled up and down to find it was now two paragraph-sized holes. More investigation showed the document was melting away as I scrolled through it.
I figured Word had got itself into a knot. Saved and shutdown. Re-opened the document and there were the missing paragraphs. Which vanished on me when I scrolled. OK, go to an earlier backup. Same problem. OK, go to an even earlier backup (what's a few hours' work here or there?) Same problem. Gave up on the whole idea.
A year or so ago, El Reg linked to a sample chapter of a book describing this. It was mainly to do with "Master Documents." Master documents were very bad for provoking this bug, but it had 9 or 10 rules you had to follow to minimize the risk of it happening. Only minimize, because even if you followed the rules religiously, it could still happen. And not just with Master Documents, it could even happen with ordinary documents.
That book was written in 2001, about Word 2000. I encountered the problem in 2006(ish). The problem was present for years.
Those are the reasons I never use Microsoft stuff for anything personal. Well, I don't have a Microsoft system at home, so that's another reason. But if somebody gave me a fully-licensed Microsoft box with fully-licensed Office, I wouldn't use it for anything other than trivial, transient stuff like a shopping list or a note to the milkman (not that I ever produce either of those, anyway). Because Microsoft can take years to fix bugs they don't even admit to.
I only use Microsoft stuff if I'm paid to, and even then I warn the employer about the dangers and suggest switching to alternatives if feasible. At home, you couldn't provide a bargepole long enough for me to use Microsoft stuff for anything remotely important to me. Or even anything unimportant to me. I would only use it for one-off, trivial stuff and not even then because I'd have to wait for the system to boot up.
So your option 3 of Microsoft pulling it so they can fix a data-loss bug doesn't ring true. Not unless the EULA forgot the standard "Microsoft takes no liability for anything. If it all goes wrong, you're fucked" clause. Because they are either incapable of fixing bugs as soon as they are reported or they just don't care as long as it doesn't significantly affect revenue.