Subscription-based Office suite offers more bang for your buck, PCWorld says

Microsoft recently announced the pricing details of its much-anticipated Office updates. The company revealed some time ago that it would offer both locally installed and online versions of the new productivity suite, but with the prices now revealed, one industry observer is insisting that the online subscription version may hold greater value.

According to a Microsoft document acquired by PCWorld, Microsoft’s locally installed Office 2013 will come in three versions. Home & Student will be sold for $139.99, Home & Business for $219.99 and Professional for $399.99. The company’s new cloud-based Office 365, meanwhile, will be available in two versions on a subscription basis – Home Premium for $99.99 per year and Small Business Premium for $149.99 per user per year.

PCWorld’s Tony Bradley argued that the subscription model offers “more bang for the buck,” noting that a Home Premium subscription can be shared among five different users or devices. A Small Business Premium subscription is restricted to one user per subscription, but can be distributed across up to five different devices. The single licenses for the locally installed versions of Office 2013, on the other hand, are valid for just one PC or Mac, Bradley stated.

“It’s easy to see which direction Microsoft wants customers to go,” Bradley wrote. “Whether you’re a small business or family looking to employ Office across multiple systems, or a single user with a variety of gadgets you’d like to use Office on, the subscription pricing seems to make way more sense.”

Microsoft has not yet announced a release date for either Office suite.

The subscription-based business model has been a steadily growing trend across the enterprise in recent years. Businesses both large and small are finding that by offering subscription services, they can generate recurring revenue while offering customers products that better suit their specific needs.