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home :: software :: Office-in-2013

Sun, 09 Jun 2013

Microsoft Office in 2013: Buy or Rent?


I am tempted to get the most recent version of Microsoft Office for my PCs at home. In the past, I would buy a 'family license pack' of Office for Windows, and a 'family license pack' of Office for Mac, and that would cover all of the machines that I wished to upgrade.

Now, I can either get 'Office 2013 for Family', which will only cover 1 PC and costs 139 Euros, or I can get 'Office 365 Family Premium', which would cover 5 of my PCs or Macs, but which will cost 99 Euros per year!!!
Now, I probably use MS Office at home about 10-12 times a year... so getting a 99 Euros a year subscription doesn't seem very reasonable. On the other hand, I want to be able to use it on my main PC, on my laptop, on my iMac, or on my wife's PC... so paying 4 x 139 Euros to be able to use it across those 4 machines is just ridiculous.


So at this point, I think I will continue with Office 2010 on my 3 main PCs, and see how the licensing for Office 365 evolves. Perhaps, I will find that the corporate 'Office 365' contract at work also allows me to use it at home? I need to check with our procurement department about that.

Infrequently used software should have the option to purchase a 'pack' of 'prepaid usage fees'. There are quite a few models to pay for software licenses:

1) Flat fee: pay once, and then get licensed to use forever (there can be restrictions about moving the license from machine to machines, but basically you pay once for a version, and then can use this specific version anywhere, anytime, on a single machine)

2) Rent: pay on a monthly or annual basis, and then get licensed to use the product for that period of time only. I hate these sort of recurring fees, and generally avoid them as much as I can.

3) Pay per use: everytime you use the software, you pay a certain amount. Ideally, you can buy in advance a 'pack' of 'usage rights' and you try to evaluate how many times you're going to use the software. I would dearly love to be able to use this sort of licensing for MS Office, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
These are pieces of software that I use between 0 and 12 times a year... paying a whole bunch of money for them just seems silly.

4) Actually, there are lots of other models: pay per headcount, pay per annual revenues or profit, etc, but they do not really apply to running software in the home. Perhaps I should also mention 'Free', 'Freemium', and 'Free with publicity' (sponsored) applications...

Anyway, so my preference is the Flat Fee licensing model, except for those pieces of software that I do not use very regularly... in those cases, I would love to be able to use Pay per use, but that doesn't seem to be a very common licensing model for the home.

P.S. as a follow-up, I ended up buying a copy of Office 2013 for my Ultrabook laptop. Too bad, I will not be using it as much as I would have if it had also been on my main desktop. Didn't want to turn Office into a compulsory annual spend...

/software | Posted at 20:40 | permanent link