Office subscription service ready to go

Microsoft on Wednesday announced that Circuit City will be the first to offer a new Office subscription service, first known by its 'Albany' code name and now dubbed 'Equipt'.

The purpose of this system is to convert more PC buyers into Office buyers. Typically when the average consumer buys a PC, a purchase of Microsoft Office is not the first thing on their mind, but rather security.

With this new service, Microsoft hopes to break that trend, and bundle a subscription version of Office Home and Student, along with Microsoft OneCare, for $69 per year.

Gordon said some less sophisticated users think they are getting a copy of Office as part of their PC purchase and are disappointed when they come home and find only a trial version of Office. "That's when a lot of folks will start digging through the drawer for an old copy."

In the future, Microsoft hopes to expand this service to other retailers, and via other means such as computer distributers, and online methods.

View: CNET News

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This is only worth it if Microsoft upgrades their Office suit (in a way that costs more for the purchase version) once at a constant rate.

i can actually see this idea being more or less a hit given they don't screw around with the prices + allow free upgrades + offer online editing capabilities in their office live services. this, of course, in addition to the volume licenses 'coz that's where money comes from enterprise. subscription can be targeted towards average users/students/small businesses.

"That's when a lot of folks will start digging through the drawer for an old copy."

For the average home user that's all they need. This is the reason for it all, who at home really needs anything more than Office XP?

(kravex said @ #16)

For the average home user that's all they need. This is the reason for it all, who at home really needs anything more than Office XP?


+1

In the future if this spreads to other MS software, and if the pricing is right, it also might encourage businesses to shrink or get rid of their IT departments. Small businesses could be covered first, and eventually it could spread to larger businesses if their needs are met. If this ever happens, I wonder if MS will incur the same liability for use of their services as they have with their software EULAs currently? Is this the case with the software service they are offering here? Are businesses targeted at all? Like one comment below the story says, why should businesses buy software assurance if they can get these subscriptions?

They might offer what seems to be low prices at first but if this software as a service takes off then M$ will start selling everything as software as a service, then their greed will take over as usual and the prices will skyrocket.

FWIW OneCare is a VERY nice product. Bundling it with Office Home and Student means you get the Office piece for $6.67 per computer per year.

Microsoft has wanted to push the idea of software as a service for a while. How else can they convince people to upgrade for no reason? Hey, cos your subscription has expired!

This is an Idea that has come at a bad time. During bad times in the American Economy
Oil. Housing Market.No Job Growth. Layoffs. Closings. Recession.
Just keep selling it as a program without the subscription.

That's all very well and good until you realize that half the people complaining about rising costs have no problem paying for a cell phone and digital cable. Or worse, organic food, $100 jeans, and $300 designer bags.

The average American spends more money on pizza in a year than any of these subscriptions would cost. It's not necessarily a rip off: it's a matter of priorities.

Well since we are talking about a retail environment, i'd say 80% of people who shop at circuit city to buy a computer are not computer savvy, meaning they have no idea that you can get things cheaper online. So the average joe will pay $149 for office home and student(though sometimes theres a mail in rebate), and $49 for onecare.

It comes out to about $198 for that, and onecare still only lasts for 1 year. Meaning one year later if you buy onecare again for $49 it will come to an approx total of $247 spent, and for the other package would be approx $138 spent.

Office+onecare: $198
Total money spent: +$49 for each year
year 2: $247
year 3: $296
year 4: $345

"Equipt": $69
Total money spent: +$69 for each year
year 2: $138
year 3: $207
year 4: $276

etc

Keep in mind these are normal retail prices, and sometimes office will go on sale

I wonder if this is a Bill Gates move or someone else within MS that thought of this.

Anyways, this is kind of expensive in the long run. You figure if Office costs $149 retail ($111 on amazon now) and One Care costs $21.95... The $69.95 per year would add up to be more expensive. Perhaps if this was cheaper like $29.95 per year, more people would be interested.

If the subscription includes 'free' upgrades to new versions of the software then it could work out a bit cheaper in the long run.

Actually, do we have any details on what upgrades the subscription offers?

(acxz said @ #8.1)
If the subscription includes 'free' upgrades to new versions of the software then it could work out a bit cheaper in the long run.

Actually, do we have any details on what upgrades the subscription offers?


My guess would be you'd get "free upgrades" for as long as you pay the yearly fee. That's how it usually works anyways.

And I hear lots of people saying they can just get Office 2k7 Home and Student OEM for $70 or something, but that's not all the office apps that one might want also. Like, it doesn't have outlook iirc.

*edit* I just looked, it doesn't even have Access. I use both Outlook and Access, so Home and Student doesn't fit my needs. So I'd have to go with the Pro version. We're talking even more now.

(GP007 said @ #8.2)
...And I hear lots of people saying they can just get Office 2k7 Home and Student OEM for $70 or something, but that's not all the office apps that one might want also. Like, it doesn't have outlook iirc.
*edit* I just looked, it doesn't even have Access. I use both Outlook and Access, so Home and Student doesn't fit my needs. So I'd have to go with the Pro version. We're talking even more now.

Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote are included - which are all the average home user will need (OneNote was added to try and get more people using it...)
You could buy Access and Outlook on their own to add onto the Office version of your choice.
Have a look here for more options:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suites/FX101635841033.aspx

That being said as a student the annual rental from Microsoft's ' The ultimate steal' was very appealing purley as it was so cheap and I have the luxury of choice over getting the next installment or not.

I don't remember the ultimate steal being classed as a rental.

Generally i'd agree with those who resent paying annually for software, I don't like the idea of buying something only to have it taken away at the end of the year (Although i guess i'm technically not buying it). That being said as a student the annual rental from Microsoft's ' The ultimate steal' was very appealing purley as it was so cheap and I have the luxury of choice over getting the next installment or not.

I also agree that some people are surprised that Office doesn't come with their pc when they buy 'Microsoft' Windows. It can be hard to explain to people that they only have a trial or that they don;t have 'word' but 'works'.

(stevember said @ #4)
If was $69 a year for full office I would be happy paying that.

Seriously? How much is the full version? Sounds like that would add up pretty quick.

I reckon Joe will quite like this idea as it means his software is always the latest version... factor in some auto updates and it's pretty good. The only risk is being too overwhelming on the yearly payments.

The only issue is if paying yearly means you'll part with more than if you bought the two products normally.

"That's when a lot of folks will start digging through the drawer for an old copy."

I know where a lot of other folks will look as well...


Office Home & Student currently retails for about $110 and One Care is about $22 (both on Amazon.com) so it could be tempting for a lot of home users - as long as they understand they are subscribing to a service and not purchasing the software.

It could be a good way to increase One Care's market share and tackle Symantecs lead in this market - is that a good thing or not?

As long as it kills off MS Works I will be happy!

(Cy Bones said @ #1)

I know where a lot of other folks will look as well...


Office Home & Student currently retails for about $110 and One Care is about $22 (both on Amazon.com) so it could be tempting for a lot of home users - as long as they understand they are subscribing to a service and not purchasing the software.

It could be a good way to increase One Care's market share and tackle Symantecs lead in this market - is that a good thing or not?

As long as it kills off MS Works I will be happy!

So lets do some math. I can buy Office and OneCare for 110 + 22 + tax ~ 150. So in 2 years the SAS Office and OneCare will be 138. so basically once you hit that third year you are now wasting money. Just doesn't make sense to me. SAS might work if there was a major upgrade every two years but how often does that happen? I can't even think about how much companies would lose if they tried using this vs a volume license. Wasn't Microsoft trying to push that not too long ago?

(draklin said @ #2.1)
So lets do some math. I can buy Office and OneCare for 110 + 22 + tax ~ 150. So in 2 years the SAS Office and OneCare will be 138. so basically once you hit that third year you are now wasting money. Just doesn't make sense to me. SAS might work if there was a major upgrade every two years but how often does that happen? I can't even think about how much companies would lose if they tried using this vs a volume license. Wasn't Microsoft trying to push that not too long ago?

Not only that, but the Home and Student version of Office 2007 currently can be installed on 3 computers as per the EULA. This subscription is a shaft.

Edit: Ok, according to Ars Technica, you get 3 licenses for both products... not so bad as it looked at first

(draklin said @ #2.1)
So lets do some math. I can buy Office and OneCare for 110 + 22 + tax ~ 150. So in 2 years the SAS Office and OneCare will be 138. so basically once you hit that third year you are now wasting money. Just doesn't make sense to me. SAS might work if there was a major upgrade every two years but how often does that happen? I can't even think about how much companies would lose if they tried using this vs a volume license. Wasn't Microsoft trying to push that not too long ago?

One Care will need to be renewed every year so just looking at the office part - release cycles are quite frequent (every 2 - 3 years) releases named as Office 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 are normally available a few months before the year in their name...

This is only aimed at casual home users - not companies. If this works out well, then they will probably introduce a Small Business version and not an Enterprise version...

(Cy Bones said @ #2.3)
...
This is only aimed at casual home users - not companies. If this works out well, then they will probably introduce a Small Business version and not an Enterprise version...
Casual home users generally buy whatever is available when they buy the computer, then never buy another.

Maybe some will use this. Maybe some will even prefer this.

But for me, paying for "software as a service" is unappealing.

Well I agree, many will probably like this better since for the price you're getting Office and OneCare really.

And at the end of the day it's either spend $200+ or whatever for retail Office 2k7 and have that version for x number of years or spend $70 and have a newer version every year or so.

Quite. We already have enough ongoing monthly / yearly bills. Making software into monthly subscription services fails IMHO because it forces you to choose between products in somuch as you don't mind a one off payment to own something, but to perpetually have to trickle pay for something you never really own is hugely unappealing.

Software vendors seem to forget that MANY of them are taking this approach to software licensing - and it means that software ownership potentially becomes hugely expensive once you factor in your payments for Office, maybe a WoW subscription, an Xbox Live subscription, etc etc..

You can buy MS Office 2K3 Pro OEM for $30 or 2K7 Home for $90. They come with licenses for 3 PCs. So MS thinks the big advantage here is OneCare. Yeah, like people really give a damn about that. I'm sure some do, but those are the types that buy Norton and then have to call Geek Squad anyway. Ok, I guess there's nothing wrong with profiting from idiocy.

(toadeater said @ #1.5)
You can buy MS Office 2K3 Pro OEM for $30 or 2K7 Home for $90. They come with licenses for 3 PCs. So MS thinks the big advantage here is OneCare. Yeah, like people really give a damn about that. I'm sure some do, but those are the types that buy Norton and then have to call Geek Squad anyway. Ok, I guess there's nothing wrong with profiting from idiocy.

I use OneCare and it works great.