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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  1. Daniel Warner

    UK users?

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

    1. qwarty

      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!

      1. Steve Todd

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.

        2. Chris 155

          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.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            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.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        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.

    2. TheVogon

      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.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      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.

  2. Oninoshiko

    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.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      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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    3. Anonymous Coward



      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.

    4. P. Lee

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

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


      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.

      1. Nuke

        @ 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?

    6. Anonymous Coward

      "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.


      "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), "


      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.

  3. Justice

    Best advertisment ever...

    ... for switching over to Open Office.

    1. Hephaestus42

      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?

  4. adnim

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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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      1. Anonymous Coward


        "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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  5. Enrico Vanni

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "anyone who can take advantage of the Home User Program can get their own copy of Office 2013 for £8.95 "

      I think MS have noticed. My 80,000 employee organisation has withdrawn from the home user programme because they don't want to pay the costs (not disclosed) that are made for that. At a guess MS are ramping the HUP costs for business up in the hope of forcing home users onto a subscription.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The costs to your organisation of that are zero if it maintains an ELA for your other Microsoft software........

    2. spidetfry

      In my experience most home users take advantage of the `family friend who works in IT` to get their Office software, this is gonna go down like a lead balloon!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It's a source of not inconsiderable annoyance to many at Microsoft that home users typically buy one version of Office and then never upgrade it. After all, if all you want to do is write documents, do a very occasional PowerPoint or read an Excel spreadsheet from work then you really don’t need the latest all-singing, all-dancing version of Office."

    "It's a source of not inconsiderable annoyance to many home users who typically buy one version of Office and then never upgrade it that Microsoft won't leave them alone, but drags them kicking into new, superior formats, newer, breakthrough ribbons, and other CRAP they neither need or even want.

    100 bucks a year, whooaaa! 5 computers at home, all those eager beavers, dad, mom, their sprog, all sweating away at their desks. Is it a bargain or is it a bargain :(

  7. 1Rafayal

    I switched to OpenOffice years ago.

    I just dont need the full MS suite on my home machine, the only time I need it is for work who happily gives me the oldest possible version.

    The 60 minutes of Skype calls is interesting, but for that amount of money, you would expect more than 12 hours of free calls per year...

  8. Christian Berger

    Seriously home users still using Microsoft Office...

    ...also won't care when they are charged once per year and probably facing the prospect of Office 365 being canceled eventually, leaving them with a huge emigration problem.

    If they did care about that, they wouldn't be considering Microsoft Office in the first place. They probably wouldn't be considering office products at all.

  9. Darryl

    No thanks. I'll buy a good old fashioned offline version on DVD and use it for the next 5 or more years without having to fork out every year.

    I have Office 2003 at home and know a lot of people who are using Office 2000 and even '97 quite happily.

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      1. Denarius Silver badge

        Re: Office XP here

        @HolyFreaking whatever. Usable ? You're kidding. Best argument I have for OpenOffice and forks is that it works like software used for years. Users don't have to learn a different interface. The pain of going from office2003 to the horror of office 2010 put me off using any new application M$ offer at any price. It is annoying when document layouts are not correct, especially in tables, but there is a licenced PC running office97 around here for checking before sending if it matters.

        IMHO, M$ have made it much easier for users to stick with the old versions, use converters or use something else.

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    2. Not_The_Droids

      My wife has been happily using Office '97 for many years (still using it today). While Powerpoint feels a bit long in the tooth, and she doesn't use Access or Excel, Word 97 does all she needs to do - unless she needs to open a .docx or convert to PDF, and then she'll lean on conversion programs.

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        1. Christian Berger

          What people tend to forget

          Is that software used to crash a lot more back then. For example the German version of Word used to crash when spell-checking the word "Realitätsbezug".

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Home users still pay for office software? Price: FREE Price: FREE Price: FREE Price: FREE Price: FREE Price: FREE Price: FREE

    Some of them might not include things like macro languages, but how many home users use that??? ALL of those are suitable for 99.999% of home users. Sorry Microsoft, like Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox, Surface and Zune, you are simply out of touch...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Home users still pay for office software?

      You forgot FREE

      And that one actually works with standard documents....

      1. GregC

        Re: Home users still pay for office software?

        MS have added ODF support:? Fantastic :)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Home users still pay for office software?

        Standard documents, or microsoft standard documents? BIG difference.

        I have never had a problem reading any word document, regardless of the version of MS Office it was written in. I use Google Docs (now Google Drive), and it just works, and the concurrent document editing and collaboration is superb.

  11. frank ly

    Wait a minute

    "...the ability to share Office documents between multiple devices and getting availability over the internet ..."

    That's what file systems, removable storage, networks, cloud storage and, er ... the internet are for. Or so i thought.

  12. Jon Press

    I'm still using Office 2000

    I must say I'm surprised and grateful that Microsoft has put so much effort into maintaining it as a viable option (including the converters for docx formats), but not so much that I'd consider shelling out for a newer version.

    Microsoft seem dazzled into paralysis by the revenues they get from Office (witness the agonising over Outlook for RT), but the days of being able to sell a mass market product with such huge margins isn't going to survive the tablet/app age.

    I don't see, either, that many people will immediately think of a software suite they've traditionally used to create paper documents as being the obvious solution to their cloud collaboration needs (assuming they have any).

    If they can't find a way of selling a consumer version of Office (or its subcomponents) at a few pounds a throw, there isn't going to be a "home" Office product line in future.

    1. N2

      Re: I'm still using Office 2000

      Yep, me as well, to be honest I cant see the point of some of the recent versions, unless getting annoyed & not achieving much are now regarded as features.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: I'm still using Office 2000

        Same here. I didn't see anything shiny enough in 2003 to be worth the upgrade. And the ribbon in 2007 totally put me off.

      2. b166er

        Re: I'm still using Office 2000

        Well, considering you two tightwads are still using a version from 13 years ago, what choice do Microsoft have?

        What would you like them do do? Keep patching Office 2000 ad infinitum and have no money for research and development?

        I expect downvotes for this, but seriously, they gave you a decent Office product 13 years ago, it wouldn't hurt to buy a new copy would it?

        Thank fuck I'm not in the software business.

        1. GregC

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          "I expect downvotes for this, but seriously, they gave you a decent Office product 13 years ago, it wouldn't hurt to buy a new copy would it?"

          No downvote here, but nevertheless - if a 13 year old piece of software is still doing everything that is required of it, and most likely much faster than when it was first purchased due to hardware improvements, why would anyone even think about buying a new version (assuming there's no must-have feature in the new version, which has been the case for years as far as I can tell). In fact recent versions of Office seem to have contained actual incentives to avoid upgrades (docx by default, ribbon...)

          Not suggesting they should still be supporting 2000 now at all, but why should I be expected to 'up'grade if what I already have works just fine?

          As for this subscription model for home users - well, good luck with that one MS. I suspect you'll need it.

          1. DiBosco

            Re: I'm still using Office 2000

            More to the point, even though for power users Open Office/Libre Office might not be good enough, it staggers me how many people use a tiny fraction of Microsoft Office's functions, yet think they need it and only it. I would guess that at the very least 80% of home users would be able to use OO/LO just fine and I suspect tablets are making people realise just this in the shape of things like Google docs. So, MS trying to charge a subscription, a fecking subscription, strikes me as being utter insanity. I seriously think Microsoft are making some insane decisions at the moment.

        2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          Well, technically they didn't "give" us the office product 13 years ago, we had to purchase it. And if it's still doing what we need it to do, why would we need to buy a newer version to do pretty much the same thing as the 13-year-old version that we've already paid for? It's not like it's wearing out like a car engine or getting old like a lapdog (or, err, wife...).

          1. Shanghai Tom

            Re: I'm still using Office 2000

            I'm not sure you did buy it, just a license to use it, it's old so the T&C may be different, but as far as I can tell you still don't own the software , which leaves the only alternative that you are already renting it for a one time charge :)

            Personally I use Libreoffice and Kingsoft Office, between them I can do all the docs etc I need on any platform I use ( Linux, Win and Android ) and I rarely have an import problem and if I do then it's no different than someones new shiny Office software generating a format that isn't compatible with my older software - which happens in business to business a heck of a lot.

            I've lost track of the number of times when using office 'Office" that I had to write back and ask for a downlevel saved version because the company I was working in hadn't shelled out / rolled out the Latest suite.

            As for cloud based solutions, try working in a somewhat rural setting, or on a plane, or even another country where free wifi is not a viable option - right now you won't get a lot of work completed, data roaming charges are usually exorbitant, and dependent how locked down your equipment is you may not be able to get a local sim with a far better data expense.

            Did I remember reading that Google docs no longer supports older Word formats ? not sure, but I bet there are a squillion documents in the old formats archived away...

            Libreoffice can be run from a memory stick as a valuable backup tool, I never did find a way of running Office that way, although Lotus Notes can run that way, just alter notes.ini to reflect the drive letter of the mem-stick when it's assigned after you plug it in.

            Haven't used Symphony for a long time, but with their latest fix pack it should access .xls, .xlsx, .docx or .pptx.

            I'm not anti-windows / office, I just found this to be my best alternative while giving me compatibility and flexibility, and of course, saving the software costs for something else.

            I primarily use Linux as I have less hassle with hacking, virii, port probes etc etc, and it's faster too, I have Windows [Licensed] running in a VM for those things there is no equivalent for yet on Linux. ( Free or Fee ) .

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: I'm still using Office 2000

              Google Docs no longer exports the older MS Office formats. It still opens them.

              However, that is of course the danger of both Office 365, Google Docs and any other "cloud" solution.

              If they want to take a feature away, they can and there's nothing you can do about - not even sue!

              Your only possible action is to stop renewing your subscription, and then what?

              If you're running your Office application locally, that can't happen.

              (That's not completely true of MS Office though, as Windows Update will automatically update it. I'm sure they won't cripple it intentionally.)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          "Well, considering you two tightwads are still using a version from 13 years ago"

          If you are so upset at MS plight sell your house and post the proceeds to MS !

        4. Mike Flugennock

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          I expect downvotes for this, but seriously, they gave you a decent Office product 13 years ago, it wouldn't hurt to buy a new copy would it?

          Why does this remark remind me of whiny Webmasters from fifteen years ago pissing and moaning on forums about why the users won't "at least click on an ad once in a while"?

          I don't know how many other Mac users are reading this thread, but for the record, I've still got Orifice 2004 on my minitower and my laptop; it works fine for what I need to do with it. I fire up Word once in a blue moon to take clients' copy and re-save it as plain text for InDesign, and I fire up Excel even less often to take clients' data sets and create "raw" pie charts and such for gussying-up in Illustrator. I think I launched PowerPoint twice since I installed it. I also recently found a slick little FOSS conversion utility to deal with those goddamned hellspawn... uh, that is, .docx files.

          The wife finally got Orifice 2010 for her Macbook about a year after it came out. She uses Word and Excel a little more heavily than I do as her work involves a lot of letter-writing and schedule creation, so moving up made more sense for her.

          But, seriously, looks like Microsoft has publicly displayed its cluelessness yet again. Out of all the things I've read here that they're hyping, I've already figured out how to do most of them myself. Share stuff over the Internet? Cripes, that's what email is for, isn't it? Multiple devices? Well, there's my wife's and my laptops, and so far we've had no trouble opening each other's stuff over the house wifi, and I can't possibly think of any occasion at all where the wife is going to need to open a Word or Excel file on her friggin' phone.

          I've already downloaded a copy of OpenOffice for OSX and checked it out, and keep it in reserve.

        5. Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          "What would you like them do do? Keep patching Office 2000 ad infinitum and have no money for research and development?"

          What research and development?

          Sticking in "the Ribbon" and calling that an insightful quantum leap in technology?

          Or does changing the year numbers on the packets, make Ballmer worthy of a Nobel piece prize?

          Smiley = Microsoft makes my day.

        6. Ian Johnston Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: I'm still using Office 2000

          My nice dinner service is 20 years old. Do you expect me to smash the plates and buy a new set to keep Wedgwood's profits up?

          1. b166er

            Re: I'm still using Office 2000

            So many fail arguments and analogies, how old is your car? and therefore the software in your car?

            How old is your phone? Your set top box? Your operating system? Your TV?

            You can argue it around all you like, but buying Microsoft Office once or twice a decade is really no big deal when you examine it honestly!

            Money goes around, deal with it lol, we're all money movers. Microsoft employ people and when we buy stuff from them, they pay people and then those people buy things from Tesco, who pay their people, it's a blindingly simple concept.

            I've just realised I'm starting to understand the word freetard lol

          2. Hayden Clark Silver badge

            Re: I'm still using Office 2000

            @Ian Johnston

            Because you didn't, Wedgwood is no more.

    2. Fihart

      Re: I'm still using Office 2000

      Frankly, I've seen no serious improvements in Word since the first few versions for Windows. In fact, the only real change in word processing was when it migrated from Wordstar and Wordperfect (for DOS) to the Windows platform.

      WS and WP were highly usable to those who bothered to learn extra keystrokes to embed formatting commands and could live without WYSIWYG. I was fond on an ancient DOS (originally CPM) product called CA's Superwriter which would run from a floppy disk and still have space for documents - though document length limited by 8-bit CPM origins required breaking long pieces into chapters.

      In the end, just as any bicycle is a bicycle, a word processor is a word processor and no amount of ribbons or 'helpful' paperclips can really change that. Mostly, packages have bloated with pointless extras and (presumably) poor coding.

      Steve 8almer is clutching at straws if he really hopes home users will rent software just to get the latest version.

  13. ratfox

    Need an Admiral Ackbar icon

    I am reminded of the story about Nigerian scams automatically discovering the gullible, because they are the only one who bite in the first place.…

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sources of annoyance.

    It's a source of not inconsiderable annoyance to many at Microsoft that home users typically buy one version of Office

    To judge by their attitude and behaviour, it's a source of not inconsiderable annoyance to MS (and many other large corporations) that they can't just legally take all our money for nothing at all and enserf us to boot.

  15. Michael Habel

    Or consequently

    Just use Office 2K3!

    Oddly enough it still seems to work just as well as it always has, and I for One can't say that I ever felt that I needed nor wanted anymore outta Office.

    Really Microsoft ought to just retain the old trick of kick B&'ing old Office Copies off their newer OS.

    But, then no Ones interested in Windows 8 either. I for One hope this fails.

    But, then I'm mostly on Linux anyway now. The last hold out being this Netbook that's using Windows 7 Pro.

    If and when Seven hits EOL, that should be it for me and Microsoft.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    red it on reddit

    I ship the surface tablets for Microsoft, the amount of overstock they have from none of them selling is unbelievable


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: red it on reddit

      I'm waiting for the skateboard version....

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: The Mpnthly subscription model is pretty sweet.

      ... and if you're a pensioner with just one desktop machine?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Mpnthly subscription model is pretty sweet.

      > " £79.99 every year is too much, but psychologically, £7.99 a month is nothing really."


      £8 a month is £96 a year. That's a lot of cash for a standard household, especially when there are things out there which do exactly what is required for homework and the like.

      On the upside this might well be the start of the end for MS!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mpnthly

      If you pay mpnthly, you deserve to get mpwned.

    4. Fihart

      Re: The Mpnthly subscription model is pretty sweet.


      You are kidding, surely ? I hesitate to accuse you of being a shill, but really !!

  18. Richard Jones 1

    Is There A Reason To Pay For ever For???

    I guess I am now using the last version office that I shall ever use. Office is getting more expensive, over complex and does not do anything more for me than 2000 used to do. Perhaps in ten years I shall have learned enough of 2007 to make full use of the package.

    I have never believed in renting, TV, cooker, house, its money down the toilet as far as I am concerned.

    I know that MS almost agree, - as long as they are the toilet into which the money goes!

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    In a short time...

    MS Office. I seem to remember that from years ago. Is it really still going?

  20. William Boyle
    Thumb Down

    Already have one.

    I already have a subscription - to LibreOffice. Cost? $0 down and $0 per month, including free updates.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OEM MS Office

    I've been caught out with MS Office a few times when a user's PC needed a new motherboard. MS Office detects the change and requires reactivation. On some versions that means finding an install CD of the right version of Office. However OEM versions are more troublesome - even if you had the foresight to do a key retrieval before rebuilding the system. The OEM licence limits the install to the original hardware - and won't accept the activation key for a re-activation or re-installation if it has changed.

    Next time that happens the user is going to get Open Office instead.

  22. Jason Hindle

    If you use office at work, work from home

    I think Office is pretty much mandatory, at least if you're working complex documents and spreadsheets. If you just need an office app for simple stuff (letters, short reports, a bit of number crunching) then Google Docs will do. For most home users, MS Office is going to be overkill.

  23. Arachnoid
    Thumb Down

    Microsoft ad-man

    If I use any of the many FREE versions of office software and save it to say my FREE Dropbox folder I too can open it elsewhere and work on it where I left I|m saving £7.99/Month.Now thats budgeting in times of osterity.

    Did I mention I did this all for FREE!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never underestimate the IQ of MS Office users

    Especially the PowerPoint warriors.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: Never underestimate the IQ of MS Office users

      Surly you must have meant overestimate or?

      But, then again I never found these "Power Point Warriors" to be very bright anyway.

      And Power Point is the biggest piece of sh--.... I want to kill the bitch that came up with this torture device!

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Never underestimate the IQ of MS Office users

        Strange that I'm defending it, but there's nothing "wrong" with PowerPoint , it's a great tool when used correctly.

        Unfortunately it's the "used correctly" caveat where 99% of PowerPoint users stumble.

        A PowerPoint slide show is not a presentation. A presentation may have a PowerPoint slide show to assist with parts of the presentation, but that is very, very different.

    2. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Never underestimate the IQ of MS Office users

      Software development by PowerPoint

      I've known plenty of "managers" who think that if their PA can design it in PowerPoint then the real application can be developed just as quickly.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    document fails in a completely different environment = LibreOffice problem how?

    " they e-mailed it to me and it took two minutes and 20 seconds to open in LibreOffice -- it opens instantly in MS Office -- and it was messed up -- which it wouldn't be in MS Office -- and I had to go in the work to fix it (I was supposed to be off today)."

    Speaking of idiots (and worse), which you were, you don't suppose some idiot had intentionally or otherwise endowed that spreadsheet with a whole load of links to other content, links which work in the office but don't work at home because the linked contents aren't accessible from home? Links which will each take a TCP/IP connect fail timeout before the connect finally fails? Links whose contents are relied upon for part of the main document's formatting?

    I've seen exactly this happen. Now I'm not suggesting that it's the only option here, but if it were to be the case here (and you haven't said how you know it isn't the case), would it be LibreOffice's fault, or would there be a problem between keyboard and chair?

    Anyway, enjoy the overtime. And/or ask your IT department to get you a proper VPN that works so that your office documents are visible from your home just like they are from the office.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am still on Office 2007 (free licensed copy given by my workplace)

    Works like a charm after all the service packs, and does everything I want.

    Now, pray tell, why should I *pay a monthly subscription fee* for office productivity? Why should companies do the same thing?

    Why should I even upgrade to Office 2010?

    Sorry, Microsoft. This will flop badly.

    What you should have done was:

    1) Offer Office 365 free and full-functioned.

    2) Slash prices of Office 2007 and Office 2010.

    3) Sell subscription on massive Skydrive storage: 100Gb or 1Tb

    1. Michael Habel
      Thumb Up

      Re: I am still on Office 2007 (free licensed copy given by my workplace)

      ^ THIS

  27. mertron1

    this is just ridiculous.....they really need to think about what their doing here.....i mean really...the balance is just not there...and the more companies that start offering similar packages for a much reduced price or free the less significant office will only have to look at whats happening in the highstreet as a comparison to see that....customers aint as reliable and more tech savvy as before. have a good opportunity to get it right and really make a difference with their office suite but this is not the right way....lets hope they get it right in the near future otherwise it will be a mass exodus of biblical proportions....

  28. The Alpha Klutz


    Home users should not pay hundreds of pounds for software that can literally be substituted with any of hundreds of free alternatives. If I find out you are an Office subscriber, that to me is a good indication that your brain was not properly formed. Your mum probably denied you breast milk and fed you MSG every day.

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I'm happy with MS Office Professional Plus 2013

    Just US $14.32 under their Home Use Program.

  30. Charles Smith

    Google Docs

    I've found Google Docs does just fine for me. As a personal user the cost is zero including a reasonable amount of on-line storage. I just don't need the MS Office Bloatware with its hundreds of unwanted bells and whistles.

  31. Tim Bates

    Trial Version

    The trial (which we were going to check out at work today) gives you free access to 365 for a month.... But they still want payment details before you sign up. Oh, you can cancel at any time of course, and you won't get charged if you cancel before the end of the trial.

    How many people do you reckon will sign up to check it out, then forget to cancel the subscription?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Trial Version

      So it's that old chestnut, eh?

      Oh, how the might have fallen, that they need a scam to get subscribers to their flagship product.

    2. Steve78

      Re: Trial Version

      Cancelling your trial is your responsibility. If people forget then that's their problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trial Version

        Nobody should be expected to 'cancel' trial software.

        Trial software, by its very definition lets you try the software before you buy (or not buy). The trial is either feature-limited (demo) or time-limited (expires). Nobody should be obliged to provide payment details for trial software.

        This is as sneaky and dirty as certain organ donation laws when you are assumed to be opted-in unless you explicitly opt out (presumed consent). Or how some telcos keep charging for some services after the 'six months free' period is over - it presumes you still want them.

  32. peebee

    It's just the wrong price

    Microsoft's strategy is to make the non-subscription package seem like poor value, so they have denigrated the non sub package. Now with the home and student pack you only get one licence, tied to a single machine.

    That's right - even the retail copy is not transferable. Trouble is I don't have any real use for the bells and whistles of 365 home premium - don't want Publisher, Access or Outlook, and barely want Powerpoint, and the 20gb of Skydrive is irrelevant given the free alternatives. If they were asking £40 a year it might seem just worth it ... but as it is they just seem out of touch with the market. No business ever thrived by offering customers no added value for more money: for most home users Office 2010 is simply a better deal. Meanwhile LibreOffice and Apache Office are dicking around with their antiquated UIs, but over the next 12 months perhaps that will change, and there will be a free Office suite that does more than Microsoft Office ... I've been using LO and Office for the last couple of years and while the latter is certainly far more refined, in other ways LO is functionally better, and it's hard to argue with "free". I hope Microsoft wakes up, but if it doesn't this cash cow is surely going to die.

    BTW I bought Office 2010 in November so am entitled to a "free upgrade". But funnily enough the upgrade server has crashed all evening ... so that's a good argument for the cloud then...

  33. Steve78
    Thumb Up

    Pretty good deal

    I think it's a pretty good deal. £79.99 per year gives me the full suite of applications for all the computes in my house (2 Mac's, 3 PC's). 365 is always updated so I will always have the most current and latest version for however long I subscribe for.

    Yeah, I could use the free alternatives, but they are shit.

  34. Gavin McMenemy

    It was very interesting reading about Word but ...

    I actually use Scrivener. Admittedly I wouldn't roll this out around the company but I find I can do just anything I ever wanted to do with it.

    I know it's a bit of a left field suggestion for some people now that I've switched I'm very happy. And it's comparatively cheap.

    As for the whole Office suite question.

    In my company we're being more-or-less forced to upgrade from Office 2003 now because of document compatibility issues with clients. It's frustrating - especially as the staff do not have the technical expertise to understand what is going on.

    There's no way we would roll out an Open Office solution to the people here. They just wouldn't cope. I've never found a satisfactory way to rejig a flavour of OO so that it 'looked and behaved" like MS Office - if anyone has a suggestion I'd be pleased to hear it.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: It was very interesting reading about Word but ...

      If you think Office 2003 to Open/Libre Office will be tough, then you are going to have loads of trouble with Office 2007 or later.

      When we did that switch the whole company stopped "office" work for several weeks*, and many users still cannot cope now we're a few years down the line.

      The Ribbon is a simply massive culture shock.

      * To be honest it was somewhat refreshing to get quick info in emails rather than as attachments.

  35. AndyC

    Cloud storage? Not for me, or my company

    Okay, so you've got your shiny subscription linked to your Microsoft account, and you need to do some work at home. No problem, I'll just pop it on my USB drive and take it home to work on.

    Get home, open in your shiny version of Word 2013.

    A copy gets saved in your MS account 'somewhere in the world'.

    You get a knock at the door at 6am:

    "I am arresting you for the transmittal of export controlled data to country XXX, you do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence..."

    Think I'm joking? Many businesses allow you to work from home. Many of these companies are working with data that falls under the remit of "Export Control Regulations". You are personally liable for any data that you have, and your MS account stores files, metadata and other data on servers in various countries. So no more working from home (not a bad thing) for me at least.

    1. Steve78

      Re: Cloud storage? Not for me, or my company

      SkyDrive is an optional location for your docs, not mandatory. If a user chooses to save to the cloud instead of local/company file server, then that's up to them/their problem.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Cloud storage? Not for me, or my company

        Optional or Default?

        Big difference.

        How many UK or EU people here believe their management, right up to CEO and board know what SkyDrive is and therefore that using it may breach the DPA and EU Directives?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    last version I purchased was '97, been using star/open/libre office since then. Dropped the last install of Windows last Summer and moved totally to Open Suse.

    No interest in a subscription... no interest in Cloud either which is fine till your shaky BT line throws a moody and shuts off the outside world.

    I want my stuff outright... and I want it on my machine.. I know that doesn't fit with the future cash generation plans of big biz.. but thats their issue not mine. Its bad enough being on the eternal upgrade cycle, but the predatory pricing that abuses exchange differences really takes the ****

    What is needed is for business to actually bite the bullet and defect to open source en masse instead of suckling at the abusive teat of redmond

    Cue the downvotes from the redmond shills

  37. Mike Brown

    this will never work

    as the article mentions: most people dont upgrade. How are MS going to stop people using office 2007 and start using this? The only thing i can think of is to spike 2007 with a dodgy upgrade, and if that got discovered MS would be in a world of pain.

    MS are too late to the party....again

  38. Danny 14


    How good is the new office at editing PDFs? It becomes a cheaper version of acrobat if it does it well.

  39. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Software is NOT a service

    It's a tool. I don't pay subscription for my hammer or pliers I use at home, neither will I ever do so for any software.

  40. Jason 24

    Is anyone really suprised....

    MS staff are keen to show that sticking with them would save the country money

    Council staff are keen to show that the changes they implemented have saved money

    If either set argued the other way they'd be sacked, and no one wants that.

    The number can always be fudged depending on your view point.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I use Office because unlike OpenOffice it works properly ... but if MS is pulling this kind of shit I think I'll put up with OO's formatting flaws. Of course only after my present version of Office becomes unusable.

    While I'm at it I think I'll uninstall Skype, not that I actually use it.

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