tonybradley, on 01 February 2013 - 03:40 PM, said:
This is the new Office 365. You don't use it from the cloud. It has a cloud element, but it's really just a different pricing model for the traditional suite. It's not a cloud vs. local argument at all. It's a choice between paying $400 for one computer, or $100 a year for five computers plus the assurance that you always have the latest version of the software--plus additional Office 365 perks.
Yes, it is basically a new pricing scheme for the tradition suite that they used as a cover to effectively jack up the prices.
If you look at it from a "home users" perspective, then most people basically a screwed with the new pricing scheme. You used to be able to get a 3 license Home & Student edition for about $100. Considering that most people in a "home use" situation DO NOT use Access or Publisher or even really PowerPoint for that matter...and even many people don't use Excel or Outlook (i.e. many people use a web browser for getting their email), a Home & Student edition was fine for most people. And the days of one computer families are dying, the reality is that a large percentage of people are fine with only installing Office on 3 computers.
So, for those people (which is a LARGE percentage of home users), they could have paid about $100 in the past. Now they either have to buy three licenses of Office 2013 Home & Student at $140 a pop (i.e. a total about $400) or pay $100 per year for Office 365. If you assume that one would upgrade to a new version of Office in 3 years (and pricing stayed the same), then under the old system people were paying about $33 a year. Now, they are paying $100 per year if using Office 365 or about $133 per year if using the new pricing model for the "stand alone" applications only. So, basically Microsoft just raised prices for an awful lot of people by 300%.
Now, yes, you get some "extra stuff" with that $100 a year Office 365 plan compared to the effect $33 per year price of the old pricing & license model for Home & Student, but I doubt there is what many people would consider $66 worth of "extra stuff" that they would use.
Basically, it seems that Microsoft has adopted the Cable TV model...make you pay more for a lot of stuff that you may not really need. If Microsoft wasn't so interest in vacuuming money out of people's wallets, then maybe they would offer a plan where you pay less than $100 per year and get a version of Office 365 that get you Word, Excel, maybe Powerpoint and maybe Outlook.
Personally, I think this is a stupid move by Microsoft. While the Google Apps are woefully limited compared to Office and the various free Office suites (Open Office, LibreOffice, etc) have they own share of challenges in certain situations, I see this new pricing scheme pushing a lot of "home users" towards those alternatives.
Disclosure: I am VERY biased against subscription models, so take my views with a grain of salt. I just don't like the idea of dumping a lot of money into something with the potential to have nothing to show for it if I ever stop paying. But that is just me.