Feeds

Microsoft bags Office XP subscriptions

Strapped for cash?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft has finally climbed off the fence it was straddling with regard to Office XP subscriptions, firmly on the side of not doing any such thing in the USA (and not a moment too soon, with the product launch a scant three weeks away).

The company had a very good reason to pursue a subscription model with Office, namely to get advance reviews with which it might gauge the smashing success it anticipates with its grand .NET vision.

So it must have an even better reason for dropping the scheme.

Redmond's official explanation -- that it prefers a more 'metered' approach to the subscription rollout -- is obvious nonsense; but it's nonsense which doesn't even hint at the truth, so we'll just have to guess at what's really going on.

We're confident that this is what Microsoft would want us to do; otherwise they'd have said something meaningful when they had the chance.

Our first guess is the most elementary: that beta-testers didn't trust the renewal scheme out of fear they'd get stuck buying a full version at some point in future, such as the day when MS decides that software subscriptions are an incredibly dumb, Bob-ish idea.

Guess number two is that the company needs cash to shore up its revenues for the next few quarters; and of course upgrading will bring in far more of it far sooner than long-term subscriptions. Office is a proven cash cow; and if MS is looking to lean on it a bit now, it's probably be because it's lost confidence that Windows XP and the X-Box can generate revenues sufficient to keep Wall Street off its back in the coming months.

For a third possibility, one could imagine that MS doesn't have a decent renewal mechanism in place and has decided not to solicit obligations it's unsure how to satisfy. In that case, look for long delays in getting the grand .NET scheme off the ground.

Office subscriptions should have been a fine opportunity for MS to do some live market research, and a nifty way to wean users off the idea of 'buying' software in anticipation of the .NET Revolution. It should have been a winner for Redmond, even if it failed commercially. At least it would offer insight into the tricky world application services the company claims it's going to conquer next year.

Something clearly isn't right. We wish we could be more specific, but time will tell -- as it always does. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.