Feeds

Microsoft dabbles in Office rental

Not a real estate deal

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Days after foisting another generously priced version of Office on users, Microsoft is reportedly flirting with a pay-as-you go version of its desktop productivity suite.

According to veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, lucky customers in South Africa, Mexico and Romania are testing Office 2003, charged at $15 per month. The company will decide in coming months whether to extend trials to Office 2007.

The trial follows a similar scheme for Windows last year, called FlexGo.

The news comes days after Microsoft updated its desktop productivity franchise by launching Office 2007, which costs almost $700 at list price.

Before you get too excited, remember this. It would be a crude simplification to suggest Microsoft is responding to pressure from so-called Office 2.0 alternatives that live on the internet, as epitomized by Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Rather, this is the latest safari conducted by Microsoft into an idea it's kicked around since the late 1990s - for new ways to deliver Office. Since then, Microsoft has tried - and failed - to realize hosted versions. The company has run several pilots but a fledgling service in Australia was yanked in the face of overwhelming user indifference.

Already, Microsoft's new pilot seems designed to go the same way. Users must return to their system builder to purchase more rental time, or risk being able to do nothing but view their Office documents. In the era of painless online service, it seems the concept of not putting the burden on the end users has yet to dawn on Microsoft. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.