“It’s An Incredible Deal”

That’s the summary of Paul Thurrott’s article on Microsoft’s Office 2013 pricing. I think his understanding of the definition of the word “incredible” is rather different to mine.

While you will be able to purchase licenses for the Office 2013 suite, the main thrust of Microsoft’s announcement is to move from a license purchase model to an annual subscription model.

Thurrott enthuses that:

Yes, you’ll be able to acquire Office 2013 the old-fashioned way. But the benefits and pricing of the subscription plans are so attractive you won’t want to.

However, when I do the sums, the subscription model has zero attraction for me.

I bought a copy of Office Home and Student 2007 for €125 almost 6 years ago; it’s still fine (I never felt the urge to upgrade to Office 2010), and licensed for 3 PCs – which is all I need.

Under this new subscription model, I would be paying €600 for the equivalent term for Office 365 Home Premium. If I want to buy Office 2013 for my PCs, then I’ll now have to buy three licenses; Microsoft has stopped doing the “licensed for up to 3 PCs” deal that they had for Office 2007 and Office 2010. However, while buying three copies of the traditional Home and Student versions of Office 2013 is cheaper at €420 Euros than the subscription cost for a six-year term, it’s still an enormous increase over the €125 cost of the equivalent license for Office 2007.

Frankly, if I’m going to get Office 2013 at all, then I’ll only be tempted to buy just one copy of Office 2013 for €140, and leave Office 2007 on the other two PCs.

The subscription model may be great for Microsoft, but it makes no sense for me.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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21 Responses to “It’s An Incredible Deal”

  1. Al Feersum says:

    Well… there could be other ways… depending on how much ‘new’ MS software you want…

    Buy an MSDN subscription, which will allow you to legitimately ‘obtain’ MS software for the duration of the subscription. This is expensive, but as I said, it depends on how much software you want.

    You could also join up as an ISV. For about 1,500 euro, you could get a ‘reseller’ subscription, which will entitle you to SBS, SQL Server Standard, minimal Exchange, 10 workstation licenses, Office for 10 workstations…

    … some of the deals that MS do are pretty damned good: the MSDN sub I’ve got gives me access to around $800k worth of MS software – sure, I don’t use all of it, but Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2 Std, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Office on 3 PCs, Team Foundation Server 2010, WIndows 7 Ultimate on 3 PCs, and Windows Home Server all cost a damned sight more than the MSDN Premium+VS Ultimate subscription (which is about $5k).

    • Al Feersum says:

      Oh yeah, and once you’ve registered your software, it’s yours. It doesn’t expire. There are one or two restrictions on its use, but these should be no barrier for someone with an IT background like yourself Geoff,.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Al – I’m a pensioner – the MSDN subscriptions are already more than I’m willing to pay. Also, the software is only to be used for “testing”. I, and I suspect Microsoft’s lawyers, view that using this stuff on a daily basis constitutes being in “production”. That’s why I bought licenses for the stuff I use…

      • Al Feersum says:

        Yeah – sorry about that Geoff… anyway, if you’re using it at home, you’re using it for ‘development purposes’, which is covered by the terms of the agreement. I don’t know how the tax laws work in Flatland, but if they’re anything like they are over here, if you do a self-assessment, they could be considered ‘a legitimate expense’, and it’d reduce the tax you pay on your pension… just a thought…

        Anyway, I digress. I’ll respond further down the threads…

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          Al, best of luck with that definition of ‘development purposes’… :-)
          According to Microsoft:

          Many MSDN subscribers use a computer for mixed use—both design, development, testing, and demonstration of your programs (the use allowed under the MSDN subscription license) and some other use. Using the software in any other way, such as for doing email, playing games, or editing a document is another use and is not covered by the MSDN subscription license. When this happens, the underlying operating system must also be licensed normally by purchasing a regular copy of Windows such as the one that came with a new OEM PC

          .

          • Al Feersum says:

            Well… I’m hardly implementing a full-blown public facing Exchange server… but my use of the MSDN subscription follows, if not the letter of the agreement, certainly the spirit of the agreement. And when the organisation I work for has a huge contract with MS, I don’t think that they’ll be that pissed off with the developers who are using their products for home use, learning them, and consequently evangelising them… ;)

  2. Peter Ferguson says:

    Geoff,
    I see you intend to move to Windows 8 as I will. What e-mail client are you using? I use Outlook 2010 and it is not Windows 8 friendly. W8 is forcing us into the cloud, I try to resist but to no avail. I have a WP6.5 phone & refused to move to a WP7 because at present my WP6.5 syncs perfectly with Outlook 2010 (Tasks,Appointments etc.) using Active Sync, WP7 and WP8 will not sync with Outlook 2010 . But they have me beat.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Peter, I use the Windows Live Mail client that comes as part of Microsoft’s Windows Essentials suite (formerly Windows Live Essentials). It’s not as fully featured as Outlook (e.g. no Task support), but it meets my needs. It handles multiple email accounts (POP, IMAP, Hotmail, Google) and integrates my Contacts and multiple Calendars.

      I have it handling four email accounts, my two primary accounts from my ISP, and two secondary accounts on Outlook.com. I use IMAP for my primary accounts, and archive my mail locally (i.e. not in the Cloud). Windows Live Mail supports local storage folders, and it holds messages as individual .EML files – no OST or PST database files here. Personally, I prefer this approach of Windows Live Mail.

      I have WP7, and even though my primary email accounts are non-Microsoft, the WP7 mail client handles them well, and my Contacts and Calendars (both using Windows Live) are synced across my devices.

      The W8 Modern mail client is too limiting for me (at least the version I’m seeing in the W8 Release Preview), so I expect to be continuing with Windows Live Mail for some time to come.

  3. Peter Ferguson says:

    So now I understand, you don’t need Office 365 as you don’t use Office Outlook. You can stay with Office 2007/2010. I am forced to either stop using Outlook and switch to the W8 Client with its limitations (especially with POP3 Clients) or to “upgrade” to Office 365 and keep paying monthly forever. I have been using Outlook with a pst file for many years and am hooked on the Tasks, Appointments etc. Unfortunately I don’t think I can kick the habit.

    • Technogran says:

      There is no need Peter as there is a viable alternative in Windows Live Mail! It works with all email accounts including POP and also my favourite RSS feeds via Internet Explorer. It has a built in Calendar (which you can add to at the side) and I personally prefer it to Outlook which is far too ‘bloated’ with unnecessary features that I never use. Give it a whirl.(and best of all, its free!)

      • Al Feersum says:

        Yeah, but Outlook is so damned useful. I hated it for a long time, even as OE (now known as Windows Mail), preferring to use the mail client that my ISP developed and offered for free, or later, using Thunderbird. When I was forced to use Outlook at work in lieu of using Lotus Notes (how dare they call this a Productivity and Collaboration suite!) when I changed jobs… and decided I quite liked it. This was Outlook 2003. As I had an MSDN subscription, and I needed Office at home, I just downloaded and installed it. I’ve never looked back, using every release within weeks of RTM – though I must admit, I’m nervous of Outlook 2012…

        • Peter Ferguson says:

          I’m with Al Feersum. I have Windows 8 loaded as dual boot and I have tried the native Mail client adding both my outlook.com (old Hotmail) and my POP3. They work OK. Then I loaded the new Office 2013 and tried Outlook 2013. They don’t compare, as I said earlier I’m hooked on Outlook. The problem is to get the Outlook to sync with all the new metro stuff and later with Windows Phone 8 you have to have the 365 version of Office. Also with Outlook I get to access all my emails from over 10 years in my pst file.

          • Geoff Coupe says:

            Peter, as both TG and I have said, try Windows Live Mail, rather than the Modern mail client bundled in W8. The latter is a toy, and does not integrate your contacts and calendars into the mail display (they are separate Modern apps in W8).

            My Windows Live Mail also accesses all my emails from over 10 years…

            I get all my contacts, calendars, and emails synced between my devices (including my WP7) and I’m not forced to sign up to Office 365

            • Al Feersum says:

              I was messing around with my gmail this evening, setting up filters for useless crap that keep pinging my Lumia as new mail, and the functionality is looking more and more like Office than it ever did, including the integration with Google Drive (used to be Google Apps). The only thing it doesn’t have is the same look-and-feel… oh yeah, and PSTs. But then again, with >10G of storage, who cares? The only downside are the ads in the interstices, but it’s free, so Google have to pay for it somehow. And no thick client either. It doesn’t stop me from using Outlook 2010 though.

  4. Mark says:

    Ah yes, the old rent versus buy argument. Nice of Paul to label everyone who doesn’t agree with him a Luddite.

    Not sure why I can’t find the same information. Paul has some specific information, but when I go to Microsofts Office 365 site ( http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/compare-plans.aspx ) there is no “Home Premium” plan for Office 365 and the plans listed are considerably more than what Paul quoted – a 5 seat license that allows editing of Word docs is $30/month ($360/yr)

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Mark, follow the link I give in the post for Microsoft’s Announcement, and you see the pricing for consumers. The Office 365 site is intended for businesses, and the prices reflect that.

  5. Pingback: It’s an Incredible Deal – Part II | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  6. Pingback: Disingenuous, Contemptible, or Both? | Geoff Coupe's Blog

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