Monday, April 21, 2008

Microgoogle Docs

Microsoft announced on Friday that they are launching a stripped-down version of their Office suite - code name - "Albany" to folks on a subscription basis. Subscribers get Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Mail, Messenger and Photo Gallery.

Hmmm... so they can't get a browser-based version working - of even basic stuff like Google did - so now they figure you don't have the $120 to buy the student version of Office - so they're going to RENT it to you?


I mean, I get the fact that they are trying to be all "relevant" in the new world. I also understand that they haven't found anyone to buy (yet) that has an online offering. I also know that Office sales are a HUGE part of their income, so they don't want to kill the fatted calf just yet.

They also like the idea of you paying them every month - for crap they're already shipping. In the software market it's called "incremental revenue." They've already tried it with OneCare (don't know how it's really selling, though), and with their Xbox Live franchise.

Seems like it's still putting lipstick on a pig, if you ask me.

What about pricing? Well, we dont' know yet. But if you take the street price of the Student Edition - which is $120, and you figure that there's a 5 year ownership window; then add the OneCare $49.95 price, divide by
60 months (5 years) and you get a whopping $2.83 per month.

So, if Microsoft rounds up and doubles it (just because they can) - would you really pay $5.99 per month for Office when you can get most of the same stuff from any number of vendors (Zoho, Google Docs, OpenOffice) for free?

Me neither.

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