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back to article Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

Microsoft has unveiled its first attempt to seduce consumers into paying subscription pricing for its Office 365 package. For $99.99 a year, buyers get the Office 365 Home Premium, which gives them a license to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access applications on five computers in the home. …

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UK users?

No doubt that will be 'converted' to £99.

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Re: UK users?

The UK price is £79.99 per year including VAT. Presumably the reg missed out that fact to catch you out with that £99 presume!

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Re: UK users?

Which is almost exactly what it costs for a perpetual license for Office for home users. I doubt there's enough interest in the extra bits from home users to sell many subscriptions at that rate.

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Re: UK users?

"I doubt there's enough interest in the extra bits from home users to sell many subscriptions at that rate."

Which is a missed opportunity. Had they bundled something like 100GB of cloud storage then I'd be in there. Probably other things would appeal to other users, but looks like they're spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar.

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Re: UK users?

lol @ "open source office suites such as OpenOffice, and latterly LibreOffice, are proving so popular in Europe at the moment" - very funny joke.

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Mushroom

Re: UK users?

LOL @ Already. They started the project over a decade ago and still havnt successfully completed it.

"For the entire project, which is now ending it's 79th month, the rate is of conversion has been 31 per month, or about one per day since May 28, 2003. Assuming they could triple throughput to 85 machines per month, the

project will be completed in another 11.2 years, in the year 2020."

The savings are bullshit too - it cost them far more than they will ever save to actually try and migrate.

Not to mention this is pretty much to ONLY attempt to do this anywhere as - everyone else long ago realised what a waste of time this was, this utter failure being a great example of why it isn't worth it....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK users?

Actually the migration cost Munich €43 million more than staying with Microsoft:

http://www.itworld.com/open-source/337658/microsoft-wont-release-study-challenged-success-munichs-linux-migration

Freiberg also abandoned Open source by the way:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Freiburg-to-switch-back-to-MS-Office-1753898.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK users?

The justification in those companies is '"I need Office, and I need it to work" - so everyone still has MS Office...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "the migration cost Munich €43 million more than staying with Microsoft:"

It would be more accurate to say that Microsoft have used made-up numbers, fabricated on their behalf by long standing tame Microsoft Alliance Partner, HP, to allege that staying with Microsoft would have been cheaper. But when challenged to substantiate the numbers and publish the study, neither HP nor MS was willing to do so.

99% of all statistics are made up. Especially TCO ones which the certified Microsoft dependent ecosystem are likely to use in a desperate attempt to preserve their rapidly decreasing relevance in a world where Windows no longer has a monopoly outside the IT department.

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Re: UK users?

Yeah, they recently switched to Euro currency pricing including in the UK - which some people got upset about on various sides of the deal. So now $1 of software indeed costs €1 in the EU. It used to be $1 = £1 way way back, so this is kind of better.

I think that remote desktop is explicitly ruled out for application sharing in the Windows licence I read last (Win 7), and elsewhere. VNC is probably illegal on Windows as well.

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Re: UK users?

The extra bit is outlook, publisher, and access plus the skype calls and 5 licenses instead of the current 2010 3.

YMMV as to whether that's worth it for you, but around here(Oz), the price difference between Office Home and Office with Outlook is about $100 retail rate and you only get one license when you add outlook rather than 3 without it. The price with the other two products is even higher.

I'm not saying the price is worth it. Most home users don't need access or publisher and unless you've got an exchange server to hook it up to outlook is largely surplus to requirements. Five licenses instead of three is nice, though we won't really know whether home and student will end up with five for 2013 or not. If you need those extra things though and you plan on upgrading your office and you make skype phone calls, even the UK price is a steal.

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Stop

Greedy bastards

Are MS trying to kill their joke of a subscription model even before it starts?

£80 per year for a bloated, hard to use (thanks to TIFKAM influence) office suite containing a massive amount of crud that no sane home user is ever likely to want to use? Fine, it can be installed on up to five systems, but how many home users really care about that? To save money most are willing to have it on one or two system and leave the others as they are.

As a generalisation, home users don't care about Outlook, most use webmail these days as online mail services integrate well with mobile phones, attempting to use Outlook effectively ties you to MS mail services of some description. Publisher? Sane professionals don't use it, home users get by with Word. Next they'll be flogging powerpoint to home users... The home users that may want to use much of this software tend to want to use it for business purposes, which if you check the licence terms on this service is prohibited - it's for home, personal use only.

Now if MS were to provide something like a subscription service for just MS Word at £15 per year for home use only then they'd have a massive uptake. Unfortunately the greed has set in and they're more interested in foisting the rest of the MS Office suite at users and trying to get them locked into proprietary non interoperable software packages and systems than providing a good value service for end users.

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Re: UK users?

Meanwhile Freiburg - run by Die Grüne and about as countercultural as you'll find - decided in November to move back to MS Office.

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Meh

Re: UK users?

Most home users don't need........publisher

In certain places, MS Publisher is pretty much de rigeur for school projects as it's simple to use and produces good results. I'd love to use the OO equivalent, but there isn't one.

Investigations into open-source alternatives have revealed that these fall into two categories. Either a full blown DTP package, which is waaaaay OTT for what's required and has a learning curve like the north face of the Eiger, or something simple but incompatible and shit.

Thus for the kids' homework, MS Office is a "must have". Something fairly compatible isn't good enough, as the transition between using Publisher at school and whatever-it-is at home has to be seamless, so the UI needs to be near as dammit identical.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK users?

"Actually the migration cost Munich €43 million more than staying with Microsoft:"

@AC/RICHTO/TheVogon - still at it I see

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Re: UK users?

Re: AC 23:05

Good to see that the microsoft trolls are reading this forum. Shame that they can't kick the habit of posting MS sponsored lies. Funny how they always pos A/C -- not got the balls to admit who you are then ?

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Re: UK users?

Actually the migration cost Munich €43 million more than staying with Microsoft:

http://www.itworld.com/open-source/337658/microsoft-wont-release-study-challenged-success-munichs-linux-migration

Did you even read that article?

What it actually says is that someone at HP produced a report that seemed to say that the migration to LiMux cost Munich more than staying with Windows, but that neither Microsoft nor HP will now allow anyone to see the report (which suggests that it may contain errors) and that the people in Munich still believe that they are saving money (and one presumes that they've done their sums properly).

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Re: UK users?

Well done Eadon, you got the price right this time, still missed out the bit where I pointed out the utter failure of another City to roll it out.

6/10 for effort.

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Re: UK users?

dont bother arguing. I tried once and I have experience in costing an open source solution change. As I said back then, open source is not necessarily cheaper than an MS solution. Like most things it depends what you want and what resources you have. MS worked better for us. Open source wasnt cost effective.

some people must bang their drums though regardless of listening to the customer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: UK users?

Actually the migration cost Munich €43 million more than staying with Microsoft:

Take a look at:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/City-of-Munich-disagrees-with-HP-s-Linux-migration-study-1797232.html

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You know, as a home user, I think this would make me look for alternatives. It's worth noting that home users are generally not as demanding as business users (when was the last time you saw home user with a marginally complex Excel doc?).

100 USD a year is just too much for what they are offering, which is to say a suite of tools which only gets used 5 times a year or so (for the average home user). If they want users to move to a subscription model (which they DESPERATELY need, as they are starting to have difficulties coming up with new improvements), then they need to get this into the cheap enough to not even be worth thinking about it range. I'd put that at 20 USD a year.

(YMMV)

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Anonymous Coward

£16 year per system is no huge deal for those of us who are employed, but yeah if you live alone or own 6 devices doesn't work all that well.

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Windows

@Oninoshiko

Agreed.

This is one of those situations where MS Office isn't the best choice IMO. In fact; although it may sound very cost effective at first you'll effectively end up paying (much) more in the longer run while you actually get a lot less functionality, esp. in comparison to other solutions.

Because if you keep that subscription for 2 years you're already paying much more than a single copy of the desktop version. And although the license of that desktop version doesn't allow multiple installations one could ask him- herself how many times it would happen when everyone will be working with Office at exactly the same time? Quite possibly the license could be shared.

But most of all; in comparison to the online variants of MS Office I think its safe to say that both LibreOffice as well as OpenOffice can featurewise blow it out of the water so to speak. For no additional costs at all.

I'd say people are actually better off with the open source variants in this scenario. Because if, for whatever reason, you do run into a situation where some of the more advantaged features could come in handy then you're pretty much screwed with Office 365. Its quite a decent product, but by far comparable to a desktop version featurewise. The open source variants otoh. do provide all you might need as a home users, even more, and for a lot less money too.

With plans like these I don't see Microsoft coming out on top. Too expensive while providing too little features.

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> I'd put that at 20 USD a year.

Which is why the VLA "use at home" deal is around $15

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Re: Why have the hassle of remote desktops when you can have LibreOffice?

and to carry on the theme of on-topic non-gratuitous mentions...

You use a remote desktop because your ARM cpu isn't up to running that spreadsheet you created on your PC.

You may not want to try sync'ing your Documents directory

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Linux

Arrogant and Insane...

Expecting people to spend $100 per year on a problem that was already solved 20 years ago? Really?

For most people it should be $50 and done, period.

Most people simply don't need Word Perfect style overkill. The only reason this is even remotely an issue is the perception that you need to be compatible and even that is being eroded by tablets.

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FAIL

Re: Why have the hassle of remote desktops when you can have LibreOffice?

Ah yes, hassle free open source. I had LibreOffice running very nicely as a backport on my Ubutu 10.04LTS laptop. Until last week, when an upgrade removed LibreOffice completely, but left enough cruft in my system that OpenOffice wouldn't install. Yes, that's what every business user needs, the excitement of wondering whether a business-critical application will just vanish one day. Keeps you on your toes.

Still, all I had to do was upgrade to Xubuntu 12.04 using the handy distribution upgrade tool. Which left the system unable to boot, as is traditional with Ubuntu upgrade tools. So then all I had to do was reinstall from a USB stick, which went fine apart from the way that 12.04 no longer supports my wifi card, and it took four reinstalls and six reboots to find one of the many suggested solutions which worked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why have the hassle of remote desktops when you can have LibreOffice?

EPIC MEGA HYPER COLOSSAL FAIL! Should've used Linux Mint. It's the new Ubuntu, you know.

(Who am I now? :) )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why have the hassle of remote desktops when you can have LibreOffice?

"For a while I tried to keep home directories synced across two Macs and one Windows machine. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea, since it sucked big-time."

I presume Mac's being Unix based support Samba and thus Windows shares, why didn't you just host your home directory off one Mac and have Windows and the other Mac access it directly?

I have a Linux file server for that exact purpose, Linux clients access via NFS, Windows clients access via Samba shares. You should be able to setup something similar without too much hassle.

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Holmes

@ JEDIDIAH - Re: Arrogant and Insane...

Wrote :- "Most people simply don't need Word Perfect style overkill. "

And if I did I still have my old copy of WordPerfect and could get it to run too. I would have thought that nearly everyone with a PC has had a workable word processor at some time, enough for their needs. What do people do with this software - has it all rotted away?

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Happy

"For $99.99 a year, buyers get the Office 365 Home Premium, which gives them a license to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access applications on five computers in the home. Subscribers also get 20GB of space on Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage system and 60 minutes worth of free Skype calls per month."

"If no payment is forthcoming, they will only be able to access their documents in read-only mode or via a printer"

My answer to this is to tell them to shove it up their arse, use Libre Office, and keep it all on your own hard drives.

"The biggest financial losers are those who purchase the Office Professional package. The $399.99 price tag converts to £254.1 or €296.64 at current rates, but the British will pay £389.99 and European counterparts get stung for €539.

It's not hard to see why open source office suites such as OpenOffice, and latterly LibreOffice, are proving so popular in Europe at the moment. US companies like Microsoft and Apple traditionally cite the higher costs of doing business across the pond as the reason for the price differential, but it's difficult to see how such high margins can be justified – in this hack's opinion, at least."

Microsoft = Gouge, Gouge, Gouge....... = Fuck them. Ripping you off = fucking them off.

and..........

"If they want users to move to a subscription model (which they DESPERATELY need, as they are starting to have difficulties coming up with new improvements), "

Improvements?

How do you top stupidity and grafting?

I know, lets change the packaging from 2013, to 2014 and double the prices!!!!

Smiley Face = Microsoft's best efforts sent me into the loving arms of Linux.

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Facepalm

Best advertisment ever...

... for switching over to Open Office.

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Re: Best advertisment ever...

I will do you one better.

Open office with the MultiCloud File Manager. This way you can store your files on any cloud service or locally. Google Drive anyone?

http://extensions.openoffice.org/en/project/MultiCloud

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Meh

They can charge

what they like, makes no odds to me. I just hope it supports ODF or earlier versions of Office file formats else wise all those people who use MS Office are not going to be able to open any documents I send to them.

Still that's their problem, just like opening proprietary standard documents in OO is my problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They can charge

Give us one good reason why they would want to open any documents you send.

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Stop

@HolyFreakinGhost

"And with that attitude professionally you'll soon never have to send anyone a document again!"

You're right there, but for completely different reasons than you may realize. I think the OP makes a perfect argument, and lets not forget that we're talking about home usage here, NOT business use.

But about that sending... A few months ago a friend of mine setup a list of stuff (todo list) for me and a couple of other people. Basically the idea to 'share' some sort of knowledge base. Needless to say; in daily (work) life he's using MS Office but at home its all LibreOffice for him.

He didn't sent us any format at all; he sent us the URL of a text document which he put online using the Google tools. I clicked, and could view and edit. Even though I don't have a Google account (nor have any desire to get one).

To some extend you can always accomplish the same using SkyDrive (though I'm not 100% sure about that anymore considering the major changes MS made in this field recently).

My point: with the OP's attitude he doesn't even HAVE to send documents around. IMVHO.

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WTF?

Crazy Prices. Considering anyone who can take advantage of the Home User Program can get their own copy of Office 2013 for £8.95 this is just nuts.

The next step in this shift to a subscription business model is to phase out the boxed/download product, which will make the free Office alternatives the only choice for people with more sense than money.

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