Price of Microsoft Office becoming microharder to cough up

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 By

Microsoft

There’s a new version of Microsoft Office coming out and there are a few things one should know before buying, firstly that it’s more expensive. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Most of the computer-using world uses a PC with a Microsoft operating system and for spreadsheet and word processing needs, Microsoft Office. However, continuing to do so is likely to start coming with sticker shock, as the price of the software is getting a steep hike.

New version of Microsoft Office includes updated price scheme

If a person uses a computer program for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and so forth, they are as likely as not to use Microsoft Office. Perhaps more likely than not; according to CNN, it’s estimated that one billion people use it.

It also happens to be where Microsoft makes much of their payday. Some $24 billion worth of Microsoft Office was sold last year, raking in $16 billion in cash for the Redmond, Wa., based software titan. They have to make their money somewhere, because they can’t give Windows phones away.

In order to both rake in more cash and stave off the barbarian horde of Google, Microsoft has bifurcated the options for Office 2013, opting for bespoke software and a cloud-based version of the software. The least it will cost is $140, a $20 boost over the last version.

Stop clouding around

The basic option for Office 2013, the newest version, runs $140. That doesn’t include Outlook, which costs $80 more for a version with it. Adding Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Access brings the total to $400.

Granted, these are one-time purchases. However, the caveat, according to Bloomberg, is it can only be installed on one machine. The last version, Office 2010, could be installed on three.

Naturally, some want Office on more than one machine, which is where Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium comes in. Like Google Docs, one is meant to get online to use it, though not required to. Also like Google Docs, it offers cloud storage for files generated by said programs in Microsoft SkyDrive. It has a sync function, so you can edit files off-line, which upload at the next login.

Up to five devices can use one subscription, which costs $100 per year. That gets access to all programs, including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and OneNote. However, one of the bonuses is a user can log into Office 365 from any device, regardless of whether it’s installed, including Apple devices such as Macintosh computers, iPads or iPhones.

A quandary

All versions also include online access to Microsoft Office programs, Office Web Apps, according to PC World, as well as offline use of the programs. Subscribing to Microsoft Office 365 also nets 20 gigabytes of cloud storage along with the 7 GB the company just gives away for free, according to Bloomberg. They also toss in one hour of free Skype calls.

The question becomes whether a person has enough devices to make it worth it. Buying the Home and Student version, the $140 bare-bones edition, starts netting a savings over Office 365 in about 15 months. For two PCs, just under three years. Basically, if one has more than two devices that will be using Windows, it’s almost better to go with Office 365, if one plans on buying the next version too.

Sources

CNN

Bloomberg

PC World

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