Microsoft hopes you’ll choose its subscription based version of Office over the severely gimped retail edition.
Windows and Office make up the lion’s share of Microsoft’s revenues, so when everybody’s favorite “devices and services” company makes decisions that fundamentally alter its business model, people stop and take notice. Changes to Office 2013’s licensing terms might not sound all that interesting at first glance, however, they almost certainly hint at the future Microsoft is preparing for.
If you picked up a copy of Office 2010 Home & Student, you were granted three separate installation licenses, and transferring these to a new PC was a fairly trivial matter. Fast forward to 2013 and the latest stand-alone version of Office doesn’t just restrict you to one PC, but the license also strictly prohibit you from transferring that copy to any new device in the future. In short Microsoft is doing everything possible to convince you that the way it has done business in the past is no longer modern, and is hoping consumer’s en-mass will embrace subscriptions instead.
Office 365 Home Premium subscriptions offer up to 5 separate installations for $10 per month or $99 per year. The equivalent Office stand-alone version comes in at $519 for a single install, and the least expensive Home and Student edition comes in at $139 that again can never be installed on more than one PC. Microsoft has made its subscription based offerings sound like an incredible deal, but it has done so at the expense of what we have come to expect from its traditional retail offerings in the past.
Would you consider paying Microsoft an annual fee to use Windows? It could very well come to that by the time Windows 9 ships.