Feeds

Microsoft bags Office XP subscriptions

Strapped for cash?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.