Remember when Microsoft was the company that you purchased software from? So does Microsoft. Actually, it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that there would be some at Redmond who look back wistfully at those times, when Microsoft was unequivocally the top dog, so well off that it could afford to bail out Apple in return for a few patents and the promise of Internet Explorer being the default Mac browser.
That was a very long time ago.
Microsoft’s been busy of late transforming itself from a company that sells software to one that simply rents it out. It’s been the case for a long while in the Windows corporate space, where bulk licensing for large enterprises has been practically indistinguishable from software rental in real terms.
That’s extended out to its Office suite, but it’s only been in the past three years with the launch of its Office 365 brand that it’s been pushing a vision of paying a monthly lower price for Office, rather than a higher one-off price to everyone, not just large businesses.
There’s a rather obvious problem here, especially for consumers, who are generally only light users of the features found in Microsoft’s increasingly mature Office products. If you’ve already got a version of Office pre-installed that does what you want it to, why would you pay for monthly Office?