For a lot of reasons, subscriptions make sense. People would rather subscribe to certain high-priced services than purchase a complete service. This is particularly true when it comes to software that would normally break the bank. Microsoft’s Office Suite is one of those types of software. Recognizing that some consumers do not want to purchase Office, Microsoft is now offering a yearly subscription price. Of course, the new Office also comes with a number of upgrades too.
If you have up to five computers that you want to use Office Home Premium on, you can purchase this subscription for $99.99 per year. You can also purchase a monthly subscription for just $9.99 per month. Office 365 University works on two PCs or Macs and will cost $79.99 per year. Microsoft is also offering a Home and Student version of Office for $139 per year, but this program can only be used on one PC. Home and Business can be purchased for $219 (one PC) and Office Professional for $399 (one PC).
Types of Office Suites
Each Office suite comes with different features. If you’re looking for the old school Office that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others, you will want the Home and Student version. Office 365 comes with all of those things and features like 60 minutes of Skype per month and 20GB of SkyDrive storage. Office Business and Professional are geared towards small business users and include all the basics plus additions like Outlook (Business) and Publisher (Professional).
Each suite is really unique, so it will pay to take a careful look at what Microsoft is offering before you decide on any one subscription. Microsoft has never offering a subscription based service before, so this will be a unique offering. But, it’s also one that makes a good deal of sense. If you don’t want to buy Office for any reason, you can just subscribe to the software for a short while. You’ll also have to pay close attention to what suites work with Mac and which ones are only for PC. Keep in mind that not all suites will work with both Mac and PC.
Stopping A Subscription: A Cautionary Note
There are some advantages to subscribing to Office. But, there are also some definite disadvantages. When your subscription ends, you will lose all of your Office files unless you have backed up those files somewhere. You won’t be able to access Microsoft’s cloud, so keep this in mind too. The same thing goes for stopping or halting a subscription at any time. To keep your files, you must back them up. Also, subscribing to this program doesn’t mean that you will own anything. As with any kind of rental agreement, the program is returned to Microsoft when your subscription expires.
Weight the pros and cons of subscribing to this kind of program carefully. A subscription may look like a great idea, but that’s not necessarily the case. Consider the cost of buying the suite versus renting it, when the risks are, and then think about subscribing versus buying.