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Microsoft hopes to lure bargain hunters with new subscription model, perhaps hints at changing business plan

There have been some in the software industry who have advocated a subscription model for their programs.  They suggest that rental programs could save both the consumer and the software companies.  Microsoft seemed to validate those advocates as it announced that it will begin distributing rental copies of its popular Office productivity suite.

The new deal will bring copies of the software to over 700 Circuit City stores across the country.  The latest version of the Office suite will be bundled with Microsoft's Live OneCare computer security software and will work for $70 per year.

Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for the Office group said that Circuit City does not have an exclusive distribution agreement; it was merely the first to jump on the opportunity.  He said other retailers and PC manufacturers such as Dell may be offering the software bundle soon as well.

The new software bundle is named Microsoft Equipt and comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneCare and a handful of existing free Windows Live applications.  It was rumored for months, under the codename "Albany". 

Mr. Gordon explained that Equipt is aimed at people who when buying a new computer would skip and Office purchase and merely reuse old Office disks or pirate a friend's copy.  He said that the $70 price tag falls in the middle of McAfee Inc. and Symantec Corp's security offerings, so users can justify the purchase merely as a security suite and get the productivity software as a bonus.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst for the independent research group Directions on Microsoft remarked that while Office is the industry standard, the OneCare security suite has seen slow adoption.  However, he feels the low price and creative business model may help it catch on, probably part of Microsoft's intention with the bundle.

He argues that Microsoft's main focus, though, is increasing the number of Office users, and trying to keep them from an increasing number of free solutions, such as Google's popular Docs software.

Equipt, like Office Home and Student 2007, allows installation on up to 3 machines.  Minor updates are automatically provided, through Window's update software.

The software will be available mid-July.

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RE: Nice package, but...
By purefat on 7/6/2008 5:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about being cool. It's about price/NEEDS
MS Office > Open Office

No if one only uses basic formating, doesn't use VBA and nearly never uses spreadsheets like me. Microsoft Office may have a ton of usefull features but I don't need them!!! The only reason i have office 2000 installed in my PC is to open .doc, .xls and other proprietry formats.

Windows > Linux

Largely true, but to me not so because the operating systems themselves but because there are hardly any popular games/programms/etc that support linux

One Care > AVG and Spybot combined

As already mentioned, not if one knows how to take care of himshelf

itunes, napster, raphsody > limewire and frostwire combined.

You are comparing totally different things. For one, that leaves in a country like Greece,Russia and other and doesn'thave RIAA up his ass, filesharing is definetely an option

Your just another cheap bastard who refuses to belive in real production and that everything in the world should be free

Cheap bastard, as in a someone who demands to get value out of his money

Real production, as in products who offer nothing else than their brand name and boasting rights

Then yes i am a cheap bastard who doesn't believe in real producrtion

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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