Earlier this week, Adobe Systems announced that they switched from selling packaged software to a subscription system called Creative Cloud. Several people questioned whether Microsoft Corporation would follow suit with Microsoft Office.
“However, unlike Adobe, we think people’s shift from packaged software to subscription services will take time. Within a decade, we think everyone will choose to subscribe because the benefits are undeniable. In the meantime, we are committed to offering choice–premier software sold as a package and powerful services sold as a subscription,” said Office spokesman Clint Patterson in a blog post.
Microsoft said that they believe that subscription software-as-a-service is the future because subscribers stay up-to-date. Subscribers also get the latest and most complete applications. Subscriptions can be used across multiple devices. This is why Microsoft integrated applications like SkyDrive and Skype into several subscription services like Office 365 Home Premium.
When Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University was launched in January, over a quarter of consumers bought the subscription service. This exceeded Microsoft’s expectations given that the subscription model is a relatively new concept for consumers.
Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service that lets users access various products and software built on the Microsoft Office platform. Office 365 sells plans anywhere from $4 per user per month for small business plans to $20 per user per month for enterprise plans.