The next Office release date is close at hand. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is going to make the subscription model a no-brainer this time. But beware: The leaked Office 2013 pricing makes it seem that you'll pay a lot more with the subscription model than buying the traditional, packaged software—as much as four times more!
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers fire up their calculators (and wonder if it's time to switch to LibreOffice).
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Mary Jo Foley dishes the dirt:
Microsoft is believed to be ready to launch [Office 2013] within the next few weeks. ...now we know for sure that Office Standard 2013 will be...$369 and Office Professional Plus 2013...$499.
the Office team is trying to make it more enticing for users to pay a "rental" fee for...Office 365...its cloud-hosted suite that competes with Google Apps. MORE
And Rick Burgess adds more info:
Although not precise, this fuzzy time-table could put [the] launch sometime next month [which] corroborates earlier rumors that pegged February.
Microsoft [has] taken away multi-computer licenses [so] if you buy a copy of Office 2013...it can only legally be installed on a single device. This unsavory change was likely designed to nudge users into Office 365...which promises installation on up to five devices.
It appears Redmond hopes to snag subscribers [with] low-cost, monthly subscriptions. ... Office 365 should be an economical choice for multi-user customers. MORE
Wait! Not so fast, says Alex Wilhelm, who calculates that you could be paying four times the cost:
What you once purchased, you will eventually rent. ... [The] niche offerings of one-time payment...are playfully obfuscated, driving customers to the recurring option.
Small Business/Home & Business: One time: $219 Subscription over 36.5 months: $456.25. ... only the university student saves money by renting Office...everyone else pays more. Often, much more.
[But] most folks don’t purchase each and every single version of Office. ... [If] your average Windows user buys every other version...double the subscription cost. MORE
But is it worth upgrading? Daniel Dickinson thinks so:
...the new Outlook Caching options (ability to only cache 3 months of mail) and Excel Flash Fill make it worth while.
[Most] other changes are either performance related or minor cosmetic tweaks. ...are these worth the cost of upgrade from 2010? ...for Business maybe, as staying evergreen has its own benefits. MORE
Meanwhile, is your Office 2013 preview expiring? Not yet, says John Callaham:
The short answer is that Office 2013 preview users don't have anything to worry about. ... "Your trial will not expire but...renew automatically. However, the trial will still expire 60 days after...Office  becomes available."
So if you are still using the preview version of Office 2013, you still have at least a couple of extra months. MORE