May 8th, 2013, 20:03 PM
Microsoft says its boxed software probably will be gone within a decade
The software giant is betting that, over the next 10 years, most people will voluntarily pay for subscriptions instead of purchasing boxed software. “We think subscription software-as-a-service is the future,” Microsoft said on its official Office blog. “Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable.”
For now, however, Microsoft says it will continue to offer packaged Office suites in addition to Office 365 subscriptions. “We think people’s shift from packaged software to subscription services will take time,” Microsoft said. “In the meantime, we are committed to offering choice—premier software sold as a package and powerful services sold as a subscription.”
Microsoft’s comments on subscription were inspired by Adobe’s announcement that it was dumping Creative Suite as a software package and going all in with its Creative Cloud subscription service.
The biggest benefit of subscription software is that it is always up to date, Microsoft says. Add-on services like extra SkyDrive storage and Skype minutes are also easily integrated into a yearly fee scheme.
Office 365 Home Premium is currently priced at $99 per year or $10 per month. That fee entitles you to the complete, and most recent, Office suite (currently Office 2013), which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Outlook.
You also get an extra 20GB of SkyDrive storage, and 60 Skype calling minutes per month. In addition, you can install the Office suite on up to five different PCs in your home, and each installation can be personalized for individual family members.
The addition of Outlook alone is a huge difference between Office 365 Home Premium and Microsoft’s typical packaged suites.
Office Home and Student 2013, for example, offers Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for $150. To purchase Outlook in addition to those programs, you’d have to spend an extra $80 to get the $220 Office Home & business 2013. And that’s just to add Outlook.