$70 per Year for Microsoft Office?

You might have missed this deal announced by Microsoft and Circuit City just before the holidays.  They are going to sell Microsoft office and Circuit City stores for $69 a year through a subscription plan.  This is part of Microsoft's effort to try and keep up with Google who has offered Google documents as an online application to compete with Microsoft office which is notoriously been rather expensive over the years.


At about $70 year, Microsoft office would not really seem all that expensive to many people especially those people they're buying a new computer in looking at a teaser 30 or 60 day trial offer of Microsoft office.  Paying $70 to get another year of Microsoft Office versus paying a few hundred dollars is a whole lot easier.


That said I don't think Microsoft is going to be terribly competitive with Google based on this one item.  It will definitely help sales but it doesn't assume to make product any better or any more competitive with Google documents.  People that use Google documents justify the use with the price but they tend to make the choice based on lifestyle and culture.  Necessity does come into play at times, but it doesn't seem to be the overriding concern of many buyers.


Regardless of seems like pretty good idea for a soft, it's a solid baby step in the right direction to stay competitive and keep their army of software engineers gainfully employed and out of the unemployment lines looking for IT jobs.

The strange thing about this product offering is the choice of channel.  Offering this deal exclusively to Circuit City is a little peculiar.  Most people that run in that situation where they need to buy Microsoft office, for example when they're 30 or 60 day trial has just expired, need the software right away.  It would seem that this model would work a whole lot better if Microsoft sold it directly from their own website as a download as opposed to making people jump into their car and pay $10 to drive a car across town to pick up some software and Circuit City.

I can deftly understand why Circuit City jumped at this deal, but Microsoft seems to have made a misstep in their choice of partner.

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