Microsoft: You want Office for Mac, fanboi? You'll pay Windows prices
Hikes up prices by 17% to push users towards Office 365
Microsoft has increased the price of Office for Mac by up to 17 per cent, another move in the software giant's territory battle with Apple in the personal computing market.
The new pricing structure, which was not officially announced by Redmond, asks Mac users to hand over around the same amount as users of Office 2013 for Windows. The price hike comes several months after Microsoft announced that it had no plans to release Office 2013 for Apple computers.
Redmond has quietly sneaked out the price hike, which brings the price of Office 2011 Home and Student up to $140 from $120. Copies of the software are still available at the old price on Amazon. Home and Business Office 2011 for Mac has increased in price by $20 - going from $200 to $220.
The shift quietly increases price pressure on Mac users as Microsoft begins to compete with Apple in the hardware market. Microsoft's new Surface tablet is a direct competitor to the iPad. And Microsoft is feeling the hit from Macs in the PC market more than it ever has, with sales and margins down across the sector.
It's the same story in the UK: the Home and Student Office for Mac 2011 download previously had a price tag of £96 (some stock is still available at that price on Amazon), but goes up to £109.99 on the new pricing. The Business version has gone up from £199.99 to £219.99.
Microsoft isn't planning to bring Office 2013 to Mac, but has updated the the 2011 offering slightly, adding the cloud service SkyDrive. It hasn't ruled out the upgrade either.
The price rise on the simple download product is also part of the push to get customers subscribing to the pay-as-you-go Office 365 Home Premium, retailing for $100 a year (£79.99 in the UK).
We've asked Microsoft for an explanation of the price rise and will update if we hear back. ®
Can be easily downloaded for the Mac- no messing.
I disagree, because there's something important the article misses out: Previously, Office 2011 Home And Student could be had in a retail box 3-licence, 3-machine pack for ~$140/£100. These licences involve activation, as I understand it, but should still work because each pack comes with 3 keys, and each key allows for installation on one desktop and one laptop as long as there is no concurrent use. There was a similar setup with 2 licences for the Home & Business edition, which is required if the software is being used for non-personal (ie commercial) purposes.
For home users, you could previously get up to 6 machines set up for the same price that Microsoft will now charge for 1 machine, and if they follow the logic they're imposing with Office 2013, those will be node-locked licences too.
I figure people who realise what's going on and belatedly realise they need Office 2011 as there won't be an Office 2014 will first look in the retail channel to try and find the 3-licence box sets, and then consider whether the software's really worth the money without first at least evaluating LibreOffice or whatever other alternatives they want to try out.
It's not a smart move IMO, and speaks volumes as to how much faith MS actually have in Office 365 as a compelling proposition in its own right - if they're having to hobble their own competing products to make it seem an attractive proposition, that's a bad sign.
Microsoft are going to upset Mac-using execs here
MS are squeezing people in a time of austerity and cuts and desire for cost-savings.
"Hikes up prices by 17% to push users towards Office 365"
They risk pushing users towards Google Docs too.
MS are terrified of Google Docs. They missed the Internet but recovered. Then they missed capitalising on the smart phone mobile revolution. They missed the Cloud. And now they are terrified of missing out on cloudy office suits.
This is another reactive move by MS but it will cause their market share to fall, in the hope of locking people into Office 360 -thereby keeping some users for longer, arguably.
If people fall for it, then they will have a devil of a time migrating their data in the future, Office 365 is the ultimate lock in. Governments and corporations wouldn't fall for it... would they?
Don't do it kids - Libre Office 4 is pretty good, and the software and the data is YOUR data not their data. You don't have to pay an annual fee. Or any fee!
Finally - remember the MS Azure disaster - still recovering data after a week of outage? That would never happen with Office 365. Nah, never!