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View Full Version : Microsoft Goes Software Subscription With Equipt

Jason Dunn
07-02-2008, 10:56 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080702-microsoft-equipt-a-software-bundle-costing-70-per-year.html' target='_blank'>http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/pos...0-per-year.html</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;Microsoft has released more details about its new software subscription bundle that went into testing in mid-April. The bundle has been officially dubbed Microsoft Equipt and will be made available in mid-July 2008 at nearly 700 Circuit City stores in the US. Equipt licenses will cost $70 per year and will include Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Live Workspace, and Windows Live tools. Windows Live OneCare and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 are the only applications in the suite that are not currently offered for free. Microsoft says it created Equipt in response to customer feedback: these are the applications that users wanted the most, and they were frustrated with having to download, install, and keep them all up-to-date, one by one.&quot;</em><br /><br /><img border="0" alt="" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1215035365.usr1.jpg" /><br /><br />Subscription software is a tricky business: most consumers aren't fond of paying for something year after year without good reason. Equipt might do the trick though, because offering Office 2007 Home edition along with virus scanning on three computers for $70 per year isn't very expensive when you consider most consumers are probably spending almost that much on anti-virus software alone for a couple of PCs. What about you? Does Equipt strike the right balance of features and price for you to sign up? If you already have Office 2007, it's probably a moot point mind you...

07-02-2008, 11:53 PM
It might not be a bad idea when the upgrade to Office comes out.:o

But you are right, I'm already on full Office 2007 so it would be like downgrading for me.

Also, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest, many people keep Office for at least one more generation before upgrading.

That'd be an interesting poll.

At what point do most people upgrade Office? Immediately? Skip one new release? Or are they still on Office 98 (or whatever it was called way back when)?:)

I wish Microsoft would bundle an Outlook, Word, and OneNote configuration. Those are the only three I use, at least for my personal use.

07-03-2008, 01:49 AM
My first thought about this was, despite the attractive price, how many years of $69 subscription fees would it take before I had the package price of both Office and OneCare and the annual fee for OneCare. It seemed like an OK deal at that point. Then I read the details that the $69 annual fee also included free upgrades to future editions of both programs. Suddenly this seems like a real good deal.

I agree Jason that subscriptions of digital goods thus far haven't taken off like some hoped. Yet Office is the perfect product to experiment with subscriptions in a category other than media or anti-virus. Office has been around so long, it's cost to produce- even radically new versions such as 07- are relatively small. If this deal is still in place when Office 14 appears, I would be open to giving it a try.

And I really hope subscriptions take off- because anything that reduces the need for those elaborate packages that Office likes to come in is a good thing.

Jason Dunn
07-03-2008, 03:18 AM
Then I read the details that the $69 annual fee also included free upgrades to future editions of both programs. Suddenly this seems like a real good deal.

Yeah, the idea of subscription software is that as long as you keep paying the yearly fee, you'll always have the latest and greatest version of the software. If you stop paying, presumably the software stops working. Just like cable TV. :D

07-03-2008, 10:49 AM
Finally, Microsoft realises that most families have more than one PC!

If you've got 3 PCs in the house, then I think $70 is a tempting price. How about bundling Windows for a nice, round $100? ;)

Craig Horlacher
07-03-2008, 02:29 PM
Did you know that OpenOffice has pocket word and excel file format support (read/write)? It has for a number of years, longer than MS Office has at least.

Anyway, if you don't like the subscription idea, give OpenOffice a try! They seem to release new versions often and I've been very happy with it over the last 5 years or more that I've been using it.

07-03-2008, 02:31 PM
OpenOffice 3.0 and all of the the other open source programs keep looking better and better. I use them all and still don't have a problem. The only thing I use from M$ is the Exchange server/Outlook to my business account because I am required to do so. And at that my business still uses M$Office 2003 because of the learning curve to make the jump to 2007. Unless you are needing something that only 2007 has then I wouldn't upgrade either.

Jason Dunn
07-03-2008, 04:43 PM
How about bundling Windows for a nice, round $100? ;)

Heh. I highly doubt that will happen - prior to Vista's release, myself and a few other community leaders were working very hard to try and convince Microsoft that they needed to offer a "family pack" like Apple does. What we got instead was that strange discount program that was pretty confusing, and quite limited.

I don't think we'll see Windows getting discounted or put into a family pack until Mac OS X hits about 25% in world-wide market share. Microsoft generally needs to feel threatened before they react in any way. :rolleyes:

Jason Dunn
07-03-2008, 04:44 PM
OpenOffice 3.0 and all of the the other open source programs keep looking better and better.

Indeed OpenOffice is a nice solution - I've installed it on computers for friends and family.

Rocco Augusto
07-03-2008, 08:33 PM
This sounds pretty intriguing. If I didn't already have a TechNET plus account, I would go for something like this :)