In another bold move to increase its market-share and win back its customer base, Microsoft has released a new installment of its most famous Office product. Prior to today, Microsoft had limited its Office products to two categories – a $9.99 per month / $99.99 per year Office 365 Home Premium option and Office Online. Now, consumers are presented with a third, more affordable option – Office 365 Personal.
Office 365 Personal will be offered to consumers for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
Fortunately for Office users, the downgrade in price does not come with a downgrade in product quality. The only difference between Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal is storage, essentially. With Office 365 Home, one can download and install Office products on up to five different PCs or Macs and five different tablets. Office 365 Personal only allows one to install the product on one PC or Mac and one tablet. The only other difference comes with the amount of online cloud storage; with Office 365 Home, one has access to five, 20 GB of OneDrive cloud storage space, while Office 365 Personal only allows one access to one, 20 GB OneDrive cloud storage account.
— Office (@Office) April 15, 2014
Late last month, Microsoft announced another decision which made the world quite befuddled. For years, the biggest tech rivalry in the world has been between Microsoft and Apple. The two companies have completely different business and marketing strategies, and more mud has been slung throughout the history of this rivalry than perhaps any other in capitalist history. It’s this antagonism between Microsoft and Apple that makes the decision for Microsoft to release Office for the iPad so intriguing.
While many may have wondered what Microsoft’s goal with this decision was, one cannot question the success of the move to allow Microsoft software to be featured on Apple products. Despite only being functional if one subscribed to the $99.99 per year Office 365 Home Premium service, Microsoft recorded immense success with its launch within the first week.
— Office (@Office) April 3, 2014
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) March 28, 2014
It’s this decision to launch Microsoft Office for the iPad which most likely led to the price drop for the service. With over 12 million users downloading the apps for Office within the first week of its launch, Microsoft was most likely simply pouncing on the opportunity to make more money with the old car-salesman trick of selling more product with less profit to generate greater overall revenue.
Perhaps it was this line of thinking which also led Microsoft to ditch its hard-lined Scroogled campaign and allow its Office Online services to be offered through the Google Chrome Web Store and be integrated with the Chrome OS featured on the Chromebook.
Simply put, all this move does is create hot-buttons for once to access Office Online quicker and easier. But, it displays a large paradigm shift away from anti-Google marketing and toward an even more pro-capitalist model of survival.
In the end, what does all of this mean for Microsoft? Unfortunately, it reeks of desperation for an outdated company to keep up with its competitors. While companies like Apple and Google are constantly innovating and developing its products to keep up with a modern age, Microsoft has consistently felt years behind by continuing to simply push revamped models of its older products. Perhaps the move to become more integrated in the online sphere and to simply become more software oriented will be the niche where Microsoft will find its home once again, allowing it to become more competitive and to introduce greater parity to the technological marketplace. Here’s hoping.
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