Microsoft 365 (formally Office 365) announced a modest price bump for its subscription-based service. On March 1, Microsoft is boosting the price for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and all the other features it provides.
Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that provides the popular Office suite that so many people depend upon today. Basic service is increasing a dollar a month, and Business Essentials will increase $2 per month.
Basic service is web-based only, meaning you must be connected to the Internet before launching the Office applications. People can use their personal account on anyone’s computer with their personal user name and password. Many third-party providers resell and maintain the applications and subscriptions for you. Their service provides value-added benefits such as enhanced security.
Business Essentials includes all the applications (apps) that Basic has and adds the ability to work off-line, meaning you do not need a connection to the Internet. The charge for all the apps to be “local” is a few bucks more. The benefits, however, outweigh the price. The subscription versions of software include all upgrades, enhancements, updates and security patches.
Corporate versions of the Office products will experience a larger increase of $3-$4 per user per month.
Alternatives exist, such as purchasing a one-time Office license. But the outlay is significantly higher than subscriptions, and you must maintain the security of the software through its lifetime, which is about six years before you need to buy another license. WordPerfect, popular among legal experts, is a one-time purchase as well. Among the popular online-only services that provide Word-like operations are Google Docs, Zoho Writer and Odoo Documents.
Price increases are part of life. In a way, I am excited to see the increase because I own Microsoft stock. Yippie! Er, I mean, darn price increases.
Now go do the right thing; pay the extra buck or two.
William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to email@example.com.