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Microsoft Ups Office 2019 Prices to Push Office 365 Subscriptions

Source: Microsoft


Microsoft is raising the price of Office 2019 licenses for the first time in nearly a decade. Purchasing the productivity suite now costs roughly 10% more than it did back when Office 2016 was introduced. This may be in an attempt to move users over to subscription pricing.

Computer World reported that Office 2019 Home & Business' new $250 price tag is about 9% higher than the 2016 edition's $230. Office 2019 Professional jumped 10%, too, from $400 to $440. (The base Office 2019 Home & Student edition costs the same $150 as it did before.) Microsoft announced similar price hikes for commercial licenses sold in volume earlier this year, meaning the mid- and high-tier editions cost more everywhere.

Microsoft hasn't raised the price of its Office suite like this since Office 2010 debuted. That doesn't mean it's unusual for software licenses to rise in price over time, or at least start at the base price after the previous version has seen various price reductions and discounts, but it's uncommon for Microsoft. Especially when you consider that the price of an Office 365 subscription didn't rise alongside the price of an Office 2019 license.

The company is making a clear statement: Office 365 is the future, and even though it's committed to making at least one more version of the productivity suite for licensed use, people might have to pay more for it than they expected. That isn't to say Office 365 will never rise in price, but at least for now the service's cost will remain consistent no matter what version of the actual Office software it's providing access to.

It's not like Microsoft has been sneaky about pushing its customers towards Office 365. Its website includes a "Buy Office 365" button, the first options in the Plans & Pricing pages are for Office 365 subscriptions, and it has often focused on the subscription offering in its announcements. The company even pushed Office 365 (a bit more gently this time) in the blog post announcing that Office 2019 was available to download on Windows and Mac:

"Office 2019 is a valuable update for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. And each time we release a new on-premises version of Office, customers ask us if this will be our last. We’re pleased to confirm that we’re committed to another on-premises release in the future. While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognize that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services. We see the on-premises version of Office as an important part of our commitment to give customers the flexibility they need to move to the cloud at their own pace."

Now the company's appealing directly to its customers' wallets. Buying a license can be cheaper in the mid-term, but in the short term, Office 365 subscriptions cost less than even the base Office 2019 Home & Student license. In the long term, a subscription can also end up costing less as long as Microsoft releases new versions of Office that require their own (and potentially gradually more expensive) license and someone can't use old versions.

This is the way technology in general, and Microsoft specifically, are going. The company hardly sells new versions of Windows 10 anymore, has revealed plans to shift gaming over to subscriptions via Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass, and has ratcheted up the pressure to ditch Office licenses in favor of Office 365. Eventually those of us who remember buying software are going to be looked at like people who remember buying gas for 10 cents a gallon.

  • ender699
    When will MS get through their head that for certain (if not most) professional use cloud-based solutions will never be an acceptable solution, as software companies have shown time and time again that they cannot be trusted with our data?
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    "Office 2019 is a valuable update for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. {...} While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognize that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services. We see the on-premises version of Office as an important part of our commitment to give customers the flexibility they need to move to the cloud at their own pace."

    Now the company's appealing directly to its customers' wallets. Buying a license can be cheaper in the mid-term, but in the short term, Office 365 subscriptions cost less than even the base Office 2019 Home & Student license.

    Can I laugh now? Cloud security still isn't as good as they want you to believe. Look at how many breaches have been reported... now add all the unreported breaches (breaches that were not required to be reported)... yeah that number will require some speculation, but still, even without unreported... there are too many breaches to tout it as secure as they want us to believe. We'll ignore Cortana, Google, FB, (where not blocked,) and the malware that exists as they don't care where your data is if they can access it while you're accessing it, or where it's stored. (Yeah, in this case, we're using cloud apps... with potential cloud storage... but no website has ever been hacked and malignant code/scripts inserted... right? No corporation has been caught or admitted to at least some data mining of your personal or corporate data. Who really knows exactly how much they actually do mine and store... waiting for someone else to break or bypass security and steal it.


    It's a ploy to get you onto their subscription model... before they raise the price there.



    Cheaper? At least until they succeed on moving everyone over they can. Cheaper? Only if you upgrade versions constantly.... only if they don't have a security breach that compromises cloud storage, and the cloud based apps themselves. Besides, how many of the latest and greatest features will you actually use?
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    This article should have listed what MS OFFICE 365 charges for a year. ($70 a year single user home /~ $100 Family/Commercial user)
    Reply
  • stdragon
    All by design.... Eventually Windows will be subscription only via Office 365. Oh, and since your credit card is on file, how would you like to purchase the Office suite as a service with just a simple click of the mouse button, hmm?

    "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    At $100 a year for five computers with 365. I haven't seen the value in buying Office with Outlook. For just the cost of two Office licenses with Outlook it'll take four to five years to break even, three or more computers becomes ridiculous. If you throw in having to pay for a cloud syncing service. It makes no sense to buy Office. Since Office 365 includes Onedrive.

    Now if you just need one or two copies without Outlook and no cloud syncing or just a small free cloud syncing account. Then it makes sense to still buy it. If your needs are so limited. You'd probably be just fine using something free like Libreoffice and some small free sync account.

    Because of the five computer licenses with the $100 a year version and the availability of Libreoffice for lighter users. When a customer asks for a recommendation. I recommend either the $100 365 license or Libreoffice. It's exceedingly rare that someone falls in the realm where it makes sense to buy a single Office license.

    Of course paying for Google drive also makes little sense to me. With Google Drive you are stuck with Google Docs. With Office 365 you get One Drive, downloadable copies of Office on five computers, Office Web Apps and Office for your Phones/Tablets. Plus full compatibility with Office documents created by others with no need to convert.

    If MS raises subscription prices. Then I'll reevaluate based on current market conditions and options. Currently it is a great deal when you have multiple computers and must have Office. Although in reality I think most people would do just fine with Libreoffice. There aren't many people who need some special MS Office feature which is not compatible with Libreoffice. Outside of syncing an Exchange account with Outlook. A funny anecdote about compatibility. I had one client with Office on their Mac several years ago. They couldn't open an Excel spreadsheet with Visual Basic created on a Windows version of Office. I had to install Libreoffice so they could open it.

    Edit: I forgot MS increased it from five to six computers for 365. It's an even better deal for multiple computers now.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    I think Office 2010 is still enough for most students and office users.
    Why would people keep upgrading Offices, especially at that price?

    If you want to downvote me, first tell us what any of the subsequent Office versions did that people really need, and can't be done by the 2010 version, especially that forces you to upgrade frequently.
    Reply
  • alan_rave
    Its only 10%. But I guess there will be more users who will start to use Libreoffice)
    Reply
  • BryanFRitt
    Pricing Chart, based on Microsoft Office Pages:

    Office Home & Student 2019
    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
    $149.99

    Office Home & Business 2019
    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook
    $249.99

    Office Professional 2019
    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access
    $439.99

    ---

    Office 365 Home
    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook
    • Share with your entire family – for up to 6 people
    $99.99/year(Save 16% over the monthly price)

    Office 365 Personal
    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook
    • For one person
    $69.99/year (Save 16% over the monthly price)

    • For use on multiple PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones (including Windows, iOS, and Android*)
    • Premium versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, plus Publisher and Access for PC only
    • 1TB OneDrive cloud storage with advanced security
    • Collaborate on documents with others online
    • Tech support via chat or phone with Microsoft experts
    • Annual or monthly subscription. Your subscription will automatically continue. Cancel anytime.

    ---

    Office 365 Business
    Outlook,Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC only)
    OneDrive
    $8.25/month (annual commitment)

    Office 365 Business Premium
    Outlook,Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC only)
    Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams
    $12.50/month (annual commitment)

    Office 365 Business Essentials
    -None-
    Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams
    $5.00/month (annual commitment)

    ---

    Office 365 ProPlus
    Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC only)
    OneDrive
    $12.00 user/month (annual commitment)

    Office 365 Enterprise E1
    -none-
    Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Yammer
    $8.00 user/month (annual commitment)

    Office 365 Enterprise E3
    Outlook,Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC only)
    Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Yammer
    $20.00 user/month (annual commitment)

    Office 365 Enterprise E5
    Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access (PC only), Publisher (PC only)
    Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Power BI Pro
    $35.00 user/month (annual commitment)
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    I do not see anywhere that MS "Ups Office 2019 Prices to Push Office 365 Subscriptions". I think the price increase is just a price increase. Clearly all companies want users on subscriptions for the long term income.

    My office 365 subscription went up from 2017 to 2018. At this point was MS trying to push me to use stand alone office?


    Nearly all of my Office files are local and not stored online.

    Based on recent price increases across the board, this does not seem to be that out of the ordinary.
    Reply
  • littleleo
    I used to sell lots of MS office 250pcs per month easy. Since they've decided to by pass resellers and sell directly to the public my MS office sales have plunged like a rock. Now if I sell 5pcs per month its a good month. I've had 3 resellers in the last 2 years ask for Office 365, no resellers want to push it that I know. With this new price increase on Office let me welcome all the new users to Libre Office you'll be a lot happier, lol! https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/

    I installed Outlook on a computer and even though I paid a premium for it, installation was a pain. Eventually I had to call my ISP for help installing it and it took 45 minutes with their help to install it. Unlike Thunderbird, which took seconds to install and works really well as a mail client. And it's free which begs the question why a free mail client installs so easy and the overpriced bloated Outlook took so long and required ISP help. Shouldn't that be reversed?
    Reply