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February 25, 2013

Microsoft Urging Dell, Other Makers to Push Office 365

The introduction of new technology always brings with it challenges for a company. If the company has a product that is a leader in its field with a global reach, integrating it with legacy systems becomes even more challenging.

This issue generally stems from the loss of revenue elicited by new, more efficient systems entering the market. As cloud integration becomes the go-to technology for individuals and businesses, companies that survived on physical products have to reassess their objectives and explore new ways to generate revenue.

Microsoft (News - Alert) is one such company; because of its size and model, it has to quickly integrate its products into the cloud. In order to expedite this process, it is urging some PC manufacturers such as Dell (News - Alert) to push Office 365.

Although Microsoft has a considerable influence, not all manufacturers are agreeing to the scheme. Some are instead opting to use older bundling tactics of having a single-license trial installed by the manufacturer.

Dell is the only company of the top three, which includes HP and Lenovo (News - Alert), that chooses the Office 365 model for its new PCs. Offering the fully packaged product (FPP) version of Office 2013 limits the number of installations to only one machine.

On the other hand, Office 365 Home Premium can be used in up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs or Macs. It can also be transferred across these devices.

The reason Microsoft is driving consumers in this direction is because it allows them to sign customers with a subscription model.

Single installations have an upside and downside. If the machine in which the software is installed dies, the software goes with it, which can be catastrophic if you own the machine for a short period of time. The upside is that if the machine last for a long time, you need not pay the monthly or yearly service fee, depending on the contract.

As of today, the Microsoft Office site is offering its 365 for $9.99/month or $99/year for up to five devices, including 20 GB of Sky Drive storage and 60 minutes of Skype (News - Alert) calls every month.

The standard Office for a single device is available for $139.99, $219.99 and $399.99 – depending on the version you purchase.

Only time will tell if the subscription model works for Microsoft, but as broadband technology and cloud services become more reliable, it’s going to be the solution most consumers and businesses opt for to avoid the headaches of software upkeep.

Third-party vendors will also start offering services as part of the Office 365 package for their cloud integration.




Edited by Braden Becker
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